China asks Australia to approach Taiwan tensions ‘cautiously’

Sydney, Australia, Aug 10 (EFE).- China’s ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian, said Wednesday there is a possibility of normalizing bilateral relations, which began to deteriorate in 2018, although he urged Canberra to address tensions around Taiwan with “caution.”

“We hope the Australian side can take China-Australia relations and the one-China principle seriously, as well as approach the Taiwan issue with caution,” the diplomat said in an appearance at the Canberra Press Club.

Xiao’s statements coincide with the sixth day of military maneuvers China carried out in the Taiwan Strait – a self-governed territory Beijing considers a rebel province – in response to last week’s visit of American House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.

Xiao said if the rest of the world “sincerely” respect the one-China policy, “peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, where these military maneuvers were condemned by Australia, the United States and Japan, will be guaranteed.”

The ambassador said China would use “all necessary measures” in the Taiwan Strait to achieve a “peaceful” reunification.

On the other hand, Xiao said the new government of Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese represents “a good start” for the normalization of relations between Beijing and Canberra, although they still have to resolve specific issues, especially in the commercial and political fields.

“It is imperative that governments of our two countries adopt positive policies toward each other, take positive and concrete measures to improve the cooperative environment,” Xiao said.

Albanese’s entry into power, which ended nine years of conservative rule after winning elections in May, opened the door to meetings of the foreign and defense ministers, the first high-level meetings since 2020.

Diplomatic relations began to freeze between the two countries as a result of several disagreements, including the exclusion in 2018 for security reasons of Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from participating in Australia’s 5G network.

Since then, relations have deteriorated due to issues such as China’s militarization or Australia’s approval of laws against foreign interference and espionage, after revelations of Chinese donations to politicians and cyberattacks on state agencies and universities, attributed to beijing.

China, which was particularly upset by Australia’s request for an independent investigation into the origin of Covid-19, responded by imposing import tariffs on several Australian products. EFE


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