China Decries 'Failed and Pitiful' Ex-Australian PM for Anti-Beijing Speech in Taiwan
06:16 GMT 10.10.2021 (Updated: 09:16 GMT 10.10.2021)
© AP Photo / Lai Seng SinFormer Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks during a joint press conference
© AP Photo / Lai Seng Sin
Speaking in Taipei on 8 October at the annual Yushan Forum, a conference organised by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, former Australian PM Tony Abbott delivered multiple remarks on Chinese Air Force incursions into Taiwan's air defence identification zone. The politician hinted that Beijing could intensify such activities soon.
China's Embassy in Australia stated on 9 October that ex-Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was a "failed and pitiful" politician whose "insane performance" at a conference in Taiwan exposed his anti-China attitude. These remarks followed after Abbott said China could lash out "disastrously" soon, given its economy slowing, finances creaking, and population ageing.
The embassy added in a statement published on its website that such remarks "will only further discredit him [Abbott]".
Abbott's visit to Taiwan came as the People's Liberation Army Air Force has intensified flights within Taiwan's air defence system identification zone over the past 10 days. The flights by Chinese aircraft come as tensions are rising between Beijing and Washington - one of Taiwan's main allies - over regular US "freedom of navigation missions" carried out in the Taiwan Strait without China's consent.
10 October 2021, 05:52 GMT
On top of that, American media revealed earlier this week that US Marines and special operations forces have been secretly training Taiwanese soldiers on the island to defend against possible Chinese aggression.
Additionally, relations between China and Australia have also grown particularly tense over the past year. Last year, Australia called for an independent probe into the initial coronavirus outbreak in China. Shortly afterwards, China banned beef imports from four large Australian firms, citing safety concerns. Since then, China has added 80% duties on Australia's barley as a result of its investigation into Australian government subsidies, and imposed tariffs ranging from 116% to 218% on wine imports from the country.