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Selasa, 05 Oktober 2021

Tony Abbott flies to Taiwan for keynote speech as tensions rise with China - ABC News

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has arrived in Taiwan to address an international forum, as the tiny nation appeals for Australian support against an unprecedented campaign of Chinese military intimidation.

Over recent days a record number of aircraft from the People's Liberation Army have flown sorties into Taiwan's self-declared Air Defence Identification Zone, prompting strong rebukes from the United States, Japan, and others.

Taiwan's Foreign Minister this week warned his country was "preparing for war" with China, telling the ABC he would like to increase intelligence sharing and security cooperation with other like-minded democracies.

Mr Abbott, who is visiting Taiwan in a private capacity under a "diplomatic bubble", was greeted by Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of a meeting with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday.

Both men declined to answer questions at Taoyuan airport but could be overhead discussing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu's recent interview with the ABC.

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On Friday the former Liberal leader is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the Yushan forum – an Asian regional dialogue conference, which former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed by video link last year.

Last week Mr Abbott spoke in support of Taiwan's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The 11-member trade group which includes Australia is assessing membership applications from both China and Taiwan, despite Beijing's attempts to block the self-governed island from inclusion in any multilateral bodies.

Australia does not formally recognise Taiwan diplomatically, but at the recent AUSMIN meeting in Washington, the Morrison government pledged with the United States to strengthen ties with the country it now describes as a "critical partner".

Federal government figures concede while Mr Abbott's trip is not an official visit, it is likely to be closely watched in Beijing which considers Taiwan a "renegade" Chinese province.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry has confirmed Mr Abbott will also meet Foreign Minister Wu during his visit.

On Sunday Taiwan will mark the "National Day of the Republic of China" with a military parade and cultural performances in the capital Taipei.

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2021-10-05 12:53:53Z
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