China’s ambassador has lashed out at Australian politicians who recently visited Taiwan, saying the MPs were being manipulated by “secessionist” forces inside the autonomous territory Beijing claims as its own.
- Australian federal parliamentarians from both sides meet with Taiwanese president in Taipei
- The Chinese ambassador has warned Australian MPs to think carefully before traveling to the democratic island that China claims as its own.
- Under its One China policy, Australia does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country, but maintains informal political ties.
This week, parliamentarians from both sides of federal politics met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, while next month former Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to deliver a highly critical speech about China at his visit to Taipei.
On Monday, Australia’s bipartisan parliamentary delegation, which includes Labor MP Josh Wilson and Coalition MP Paul Fletcher, began a four-day visit to Taiwan to promote cooperation.
Mr Wilson, who sits on Parliament’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, told Ms Tsai the all-party group wanted to see Australia have an “even stronger” trading relationship with her country in the future.
Speaking in Sydney, Chinese Ambassador Xiao Qian warned that Australian parliamentarians should think carefully before traveling to the democratic island.
“They are political figures, they wear political hats, they carry political significance,” he said.
“When they go to Taiwan – it’s a Chinese province – they will have political significance.
“This could be easily used by Taiwan’s political forces for their independence movement or their succession movement, and I don’t want that to happen.”
Mr Xiao said it was very important that Australian politicians respected the fact that Taiwan was part of China.
“Taiwan is a province of China. They must respect the Australian government’s commitment to the one-China policy and they must respect the sentiments and sentiments of the 1.4 billion Chinese people,” he said. he declares.
“I hope they will stick to the One-China policy in word and deed; refrain from engaging with Taiwan in any form so that you are not used politically by the inhabitants of the island for political reasons.”
In recent months, the Chinese military has intensified its campaign of military intimidation against Taiwan, flying hundreds of fighter jets and deploying warships to the island.
China’s economy faces ‘various challenges’ but improving
At an event officially celebrating the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing’s top diplomat in Australia also reflected on his country’s economic challenges.
He cited factors such as the global recession and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as issues that continued to affect growth in China, but insisted the outlook was improving.
“China’s economy certainly faces challenges, just like many other countries. But we are making efforts and we are making progress,” Xiao said.
“For the first half of this year, China’s GDP reached 5.5 percent,” the ambassador told an audience of Sydney’s Chinese community and invited dignitaries.