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Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives in Taiwan

Abbott has expressed strong support for Taiwan's CPTPP membership bid

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Australia's ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott (front right) arrives in Taiwan Tuesday. 

Australia's ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott (front right) arrives in Taiwan Tuesday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrived in Taiwan Tuesday (Oct. 5) just as the country faces frequent large-scale intrusions of its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) by Chinese military planes.

Abbott, who headed Australia’s government from 2013 to 2015, recently said he strongly supported Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade group. If China carried on bullying others, it should not be allowed as a member, he added.

Abbott arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on a Singapore Airlines flight at 1:42 p.m. He was welcomed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) officials, CNA reported.

Since Friday (Oct. 1), China’s National Day, a total of 149 Chinese military aircraft intruded into the ADIZ, causing the Australian government to issue a warning against the use of force. Taiwan, meanwhile, was marking the run-up to its own national day, on Sunday (Oct. 10), with rehearsals involving fighter jets and helicopters.