Beijing tells Australian defence minister Peter Dutton to abide by one-China principle after Taiwan warning



Amber Wang, Rachel Zhang and Jun Mai | South China Morning Post

Tensions between China and Australia may escalate further, diplomatic observers have warned, after the Australian defence minister said conflict with Beijing over Taiwan should not be discounted and suggested a Chinese port lease could be terminated.

“It is hoped that the Australian side will fully recognise the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, abide by the one-China principle, be prudent in words and deeds, refrain from sending any false signals to the separatist forces of ‘Taiwan independence’, and do more things to benefit the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and Sino-Australian relations,” Wang Wenbin, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, told a regular briefing on Monday.

On Sunday Peter Dutton told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that conflict with Beijing over Taiwan “should not be discounted”. He added that while the Australian armed forces maintained high levels of preparedness to meet any threats to its allies, Canberra would work to try to maintain peace.

Diplomatic observers in China warned that such comments might further damage relations between the two countries after the federal government cancelled deals the state of Victoria had signed with Beijing.

To read the full article by The South China Morning Post, please click here