Taiwan Thanks Australian Prime Minister and Defense Minister for Grim Warning on China

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Taiwan has expressed “sincere gratitude” to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his defense minister for their warnings against escalating military pressure from Beijing against the autonomous island.

Peter Dutton used an important speech on Friday to claim that “dark clouds” were forming and that the world should not repeat “the mistakes of the 1930s” while claiming that China was developing its military at a rapid rate and considered the countries of the region as “tributary states”.

The defense minister dismissed accusations that he was seeking to use national security to score points on domestic politics ahead of next year’s elections, and said the cost of joining the Australia in the United States in a potential future war to defend Taiwan should be weighed against the cost of inaction.

Morrison supported Dutton’s speech, saying the couple had discussed it beforehand and that Australia “would resist any form of coercion that occurs.” The Prime Minister said Dutton was “aware of the uncertain environment in which we live.”

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry welcomed the statements of support, adding that it viewed Australia as “an important friend and like-minded partner of Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Joanne Ou, spokesperson for the ministry, told the Guardian that there was “a high level of consensus among Australia, the United States, Japan, France and other major democracies” on the importance of maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

“The remarks of Prime Minister Morrison and Minister of Defense Dutton reiterated the Australian government’s deep concern for security, peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the need to guard against the use of Chinese force against Taiwan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to express its sincere gratitude for that, ”she said.

Ou did not comment on Australia’s domestic political debate, but said the government of Taiwan “will continue to work closely with Australia and like-minded countries” to safeguard democratic values ​​and an international order. rules-based, and to maintain peace, stability and prosperity.

Dutton drew attention earlier this month when he said it would be “inconceivable” for Australia not to join military action if the United States came to Taiwan’s aid in a conflict with China.

As Australia’s parliament convened for the last sitting week of the year, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said it was appropriate to maintain support for the status quo over Taiwan.

“You look at the position of the Biden administration, it is very different from the rhetorical position that Peter Dutton has put forward,” Albanese told the 7:30 am ABC show Monday night.

“We maintain the same position as the United States and we think this is reasonable – it is support for the status quo. “

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