Sino-Australian relations have been in a downward spiral since April 2020 when Canberra infuriated Beijing by proposing an independent international inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic….reports Asian Lite News
Amid rising tensions with China, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton has indicated that his country may send weapons to Taiwan in response to any future Chinese military aggression.
Dutton’s remarks drew a direct comparison to support currently being sent to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
“I think we do whatever we can to deter China from acts of aggression in our region,” said Dutton in response to a question on Taiwan.
“Let’s be very clear. We want peace to prevail in our region, but you don’t have that peace if you are arguing from a position of weakness,” Dutton said.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.
Sino-Australian relations have been in a downward spiral since April 2020 when Canberra infuriated Beijing by proposing an independent international inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last September, the ties between the two countries went further downhill after Australia announced a trilateral security pact with the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Last month, Dutton had said Canberra and its allies will “lose the next decade” unless they stand up against Beijing in the South China Sea.
“I think we have lost a considerable period of time where China gave assurances about their activity in the South China Sea,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dutton as saying.
“And the United States and others acquiesced and allowed the militarisation now to the point where China has 20 points of presence in the South China Sea, which does not help stability in the region,” Dutton added.
Stressing on the matter, the Minister had said: “If we continue on that trajectory, then I think we shall lose the next decade. And my sense is that we are better off being honest about that.” (ANI)