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Australian parliamentarian calls for relations with Taiwan, end to 'One China' policy

Senator says Australia is ‘duty bound’ to defend Taiwan from China

Eric Abetz, chair of the Australian Senate’s foreign affairs committee. (Twitter, Eric Abetz photo)

Eric Abetz, chair of the Australian Senate’s foreign affairs committee. (Twitter, Eric Abetz photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The chair of the Australian Senate’s foreign affairs committee has called for "full diplomatic relations" with Taiwan.

In an interview with an Australian public broadcaster, Liberal Party Senator Eric Abetz also said his country is “duty bound” to defend Taiwan from invasion by China, citing his country’s time-honored tradition of “defending our mates.”

Abetz said Australia should reverse its long-standing "One China" policy, even if this decision provokes the ire of Beijing, according to ABC News.

"I would like to see full diplomatic relations between Australia and Taiwan," he said.

The news comes as bilateral tensions between Australia and China continue to simmer across a number of fronts. Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) also spoke with the ABC last month, at which time he said the country was preparing for war with China and asked for Australia to support Taiwan in defending itself.

"My hope and prayer would be that never occurs, but one thing Australia has been exceptionally good at is defending our mates and our mates are those that believe in democracy, freedom, the rule of law," Senator Abetz said.

"That is how Taiwan operates, their political, legal culture is so similar to ours, and we are duty bound to protect those who share similar values,” he went on.

Although Australia and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic ties, Canberra has operated a de facto embassy in Taipei for four decades. Abetz, whose comments coincided with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Australia Office Taipei, also said Australia should sign a Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan.

Updated : 2022-01-25 14:14 GMT+08:00