Tony Abbott, Australian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, has warned China that they could lash out disastrously if Taiwan is provoked. The warning comes as tensions grow between China and Taiwan due to a recent visit by Taiwanese President Ma Ying jeou to the United States.
Mr Abbott said China is a very important country and we all want to see China prosper and do well. That’s in Australia’s interests and America’s interest and Israel, New Zealand, Britain everywhere else. But we don’t want to see tension unnecessarily provoked.
Tensions between the Chinese government and Taiwanese citizens has been growing after Taiwanese President Ma Ying jeou paid an unannounced visit to the United States. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister David Lin said Mr Ma’s secret meeting with US officials was not aimed at sending a message to Beijing, but just part of his regular transportation schedule.
The purpose is transportation purposes, meaning that Ma Ying jeou took a Taiwanese Air Force C-130 airplane to American soil in Alaska, with the purpose of transit transportation. Therefore this is not about sending a message to anybody or having an official meeting or visit.
Mr Ma’s visit has outraged Beijing who have condemned his actions and summoned Taiwan’s envoy in China for an explanation of the non-official meeting between Mr Ma and US officials. Beijing also conducted military drills in the South China Sea to demonstrate their resolve towards Taiwan.
A spokesperson for Mr Abbott said that while Australia values its relationship with China, we’re not going to back away from standing up for our values, which means respect for freedom of speech rights , human rights and the rule of law . And that’s something that this government has done from day one and we’ve been called trouble makers, difficult to work with , all because we stand up for what we believe in.
China responded by warning Australia not to meddle in their relationship with Taiwan. The Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu warned Mr Abbott against trying to influence China-Taiwan relations.
We support stable development of Australia-China relations but we hope Australia can abide by its promises on the Taiwan issue, not to allow official contacts between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic relations with China, not to support Taiwan independence and stop providing any excuses for ‘Taiwan independence’ secession activities .