Chinese ambassador compares Taiwan to Tasmania, tells Australia to act ‘with caution’

China’s ambassador to Australia, Xiao Cheng, has told Australia to treat the Taiwan issue “with caution”, saying there is “no room for compromise” over Beijing’s territorial claims to the autonomous islands.
Xiao addressed the National Press Club on Wednesday amid heightened tensions across the Taiwan Strait since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

Mr. Xiao sounded conciliatory about prospects for improved relations with Australia’s new government, but remained firm on the Taiwan issue.

He said China was willing to use “all necessary means” for what he described as the island’s “unification” with mainland China.
“Attention is for reminders,” he said.
“I like to remember [that] Australia is big and great, but it is important that the government of this country sticks to its One China policy commitment.
“It should be practiced with absolute good faith, but no discount.”
China considers Taiwan part of its territory, even though the ruling Chinese Communist Party does not control the autonomous islands.

It threatens to bring Taiwan under military control if necessary.

Nancy Pelosi visit raises tensions

In retaliation for Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, the Chinese military held military and air force drills near Taiwan, accusing the United States of provocative actions to undermine the status quo.
The democratically elected government of Taiwan responded with its own military exercises.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said the autonomous island would not threaten, describing the action as “an attempt to dampen Taiwan’s public morale.”

Australia does not formally recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state and adheres to its own “One China Policy”, but unofficially continues to maintain ties with Taipei.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong recently said Australia wants “calm and self-restraint” to prevail and called on all sides to maintain the status quo.
A spokeswoman for Australia’s Taipei Economic and Cultural Affairs Bureau said it urged China to “act with reason and restraint.”

“Taiwan will not escalate or incite conflict, and will resolutely defend our sovereignty,” they said.

I leave it to your imagination, but one point is [the] Chinese [is they] We are absolutely determined to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

‘Use of force is a last resort’

Amid ongoing tensions, Beijing released a white paper on Taiwan on Wednesday, reiterating Beijing’s position that it views Taiwan as its own territory.
The Hong Kong model of “one country, two systems” should be implemented in Taiwan, the newspaper said, adding that “use of force will be the last resort under compelling circumstances.”
The white paper also accuses the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, led by President Tsai Ing-wen, of restricting progress toward “peaceful reunification.”

“These are the obstacles that must be removed in the process of peaceful reunification.”

Asked about the position outlined in the white paper, Xiao was pressed to explain what conditions the Chinese government would use to take Taiwan by force.
“What do you mean by ‘all necessary means’?” he said.

“You can use your imagination, but one point is [the] Chinese [is they] We are absolutely determined to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. ”

China announced six exclusion zones around Taiwan for military exercises after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit. sauce: SBS News

Territorial Claims to Taiwan

Mr. Xiao also used the example of Australia’s claim to Tasmania to illustrate his argument for China’s claim to Taiwan.
“Not a good example, but Tasmania was part of Australia. This includes territorial integrity.”
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said before Mr Xiao’s speech that China had made its intentions in Taiwan clear and needed to appeal.
“The only way we can keep the peace in this region is by condemning bullying and bad guys,” he told reporters.
“The propaganda you are seeing is similar to what is coming out of North Korea and Russia and needs to be shouted out loud.”
Mr Xiao’s speech comes after the new ambassador previously signaled Beijing’s desire to improve its divided relationship with the Australian government.
He spoke of the possibility of resetting relations with the new Albanian government.
Since the May 21 general elections, high-level ministerial meetings have resumed between China and Australia, including Defense Minister Richard Marls and Senator Wong.

However, Australia continues to express concern over Beijing-imposed trade sanctions, detention of Australian citizens and Beijing’s military expansion.

Xiao explained that communication was a “good start,” but added that “more needs to be done” to create a “positive atmosphere” in the relationship.
Asked about a possible meeting between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Chinese President Xi Jinping, he suggested that progress was still needed for this to happen.
“Meetings at the top level are very important in nature, not in a symbolic sense,” he said.
Mr Albanese indicated he was open to talks with his Chinese counterpart.

But the prime minister has also always spoken of the need for countries to act in compliance with international law following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Over the past few years, unfortunately, China-Australia relations have struggled for reasons we all know.

China has not publicly condemned Russia’s military actions in the country, instead calling for a political settlement to be reached between the two countries.
Xiao used the speech to claim that he believed his country abided by international law.
“No matter how China develops now or in the future, China will never seek hegemony or sphere of influence,” he said.
The ambassador also claimed that his country had no intention of establishing a military base in the Solomon Islands after it signed a security agreement with Honiara.
Asked about the detention of Australian journalist Cheng Lei in China, the ambassador said the case was a “national security” matter to be decided according to Chinese law, citing China’s secrecy over the trial. defended the
Xiao said he hoped relations with Australia would continue to improve, explaining that he came here for a “friend” rather than a “rival”.
“If we work together, we both win. If we don’t work together, we both lose,” he said.

Despite the recent breakdown in ties, China remains Australia’s largest trading partner.

Chinese ambassador compares Taiwan to Tasmania, tells Australia to act ‘with caution’

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