China warns Australian relationship will ‘suffer irreparable damages’ amid Taiwan tensions

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Tony Abbott, former Australian Prime Minister, arrived in Taiwan just days ago, triggering a response from an agitated China amid tensions over the island. The Global Times released a warning that the relationship between the two countries will “suffer irreparable damages” if Canberra interferes in the region.

“Many are worried that Australia might imprudently follow the lead of some European countries to take injudicious actions,” the editorial said.

“After all, Abbott is not visiting Taipei in an official capacity.

“But should a member of the Australian parliament or even an incumbent cabinet minister visit Taiwan in an official capacity, or should Canberra allow the change of the name of ‘Taipei Economic and Cultural Office’ into something that violates the one-China principle, the bilateral relations between China and Australia would suffer irreparable damages.”

The mouthpiece of the Chinese government also raised concerns over Australia’s reaction to its airspace activities over the weekend.

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“The Australian government interfered in China’s internal affairs by slandering the mainland’s air force activities around the island of Taiwan as ‘incursions’ into the so-called air defence zone of the island, remaining in lock-step with Washington,” it wrote.

The warning from The Global Times may be the final straw in a struggling relationship between the two nations after Australia signed the AUKUS pact in September.

The definitive move signalled Australia chose to side with the US over China, experts have claimed.

Australia had maintained it didn’t have to choose between the two nations, but in recent years its attitude towards Beijing has hardened.

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The relationship deteriorated further when Australia called for an investigation into the origins of Covid which resulted in China issuing sanctions against Australian exports in retaliation.

John Blaxland, an international security professor at the Australian National University, stated that was the moment Australia realised it needed to improve its defenses.

“What happened was the dawning realisation that all these things that had preceded weren’t benign,” he told the BBC.

“We were talking about a country that had become surprisingly hostile.”

The AUKUS alliance permits the three nations, Australia, Britain and the US, to share advanced technologies with each other.

The Global Times’ editorial warned Australia is at risk of becoming the States’ “chess piece” for their “anti-China strategy”.

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