Asia

‘Vicious’: China explodes over Taiwan


Firebrand Chinese newspaper Global Times has unleashed after Tony Abbott visited Taiwan, warning Australians to “prepare to fight”.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s pro-Taiwan stance has been attacked by Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece The Global Times in a brutal new op-ed.

Mr Abbott raised eyebrows last week when he visited Taiwan to attend the Yushan Forum in Taipei amid growing tensions with China.

In an explosive speech, he ripped into China and its leader Xi Jinping, and he followed it up with an op-ed of his own, published by The Australian on Sunday.

In his article, Mr Abbott urged Taiwan to “get ready to fight” as “we have to assume that China is preparing to take Taiwan, as President Xi Jinping himself has said, by force if necessary, even though Taiwan has never been part of communist China and hasn’t really been ruled from Beijing since 1895”.

In response, Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin savaged Mr Abbott’s “provocative” argument, which he described as “by no means encouraging” for the Taiwanese people.

“To put it bluntly, Abbott actually asked Taiwan to ‘stand up and die’ for Western interests and to act as cannon fodder on a war that the island is destined to lose in order to win praise from the West,” the piece reads.

“Abbott is so vicious. I just do not know if the people of Taiwan who listened to his speech are stupid enough to get blood boiled by his words.

“I think rational Taiwan people would tell him: It is better for you Australians prepare to fight. Australia can deploy most of its warships around the Chinese mainland and give young Australian soldiers ‘a worthy death defending democracy’.”

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In the op-ed, Hu Xijin also criticised Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, claiming her argument that the reunification of China and Taiwan would harm her people’s way of life was a “shameless deception”.

“I hope people of Taiwan can have basic judgment and refuse to become pawns or cannon fodder for the interests of the US, Japan and Australia,” the op-ed continues.

“Unification of China is a consistent and justified agenda since modern times. Those who vilify it are definitely the evil forces of anti-history and anti-humanity.”

The piece concluded by claiming Taiwan was at a crossroads, and that it can “walk toward a proud path of peaceful unification but it can also be led to disaster by those evil forces”.

However, it’s just the latest attack against Mr Abbott by the Global Times.

Soon after his visit to Taiwan, the publication fired off its first brutal editorial, warning China’s relationship with Australia will “suffer irreparable damages” if it gets involved in the dispute between Beijing and Taipei.

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

“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.”

Mr Abbott’s divisive speech came as Pentagon officials confirmed they had quietly been training Taiwanese troops for months as the threat of war escalated.

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Tensions between China and Taiwan continue to grow, with President Tsai Ing-wen vowing to withstand pressure from Beijing and defend her people’s democratic way of life as recently as Sunday.

Her comments were made after a recent surge in incursions by Chinese warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone.

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