29 July 2020
South Australian Senator Rex Patrick today welcomed the strong support for Taiwan expressed by both the Australian and United States Governments at the AUSMIN consultations held in Washington yesterday.
“The AUSMIN Communique is worth reading closely, especially the references to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,” Senator Patrick said.
“Australia needs to adopt a firm, principled and consistent approach in relation to China’s ambitions to expand its power and control in the Asia-Pacific region,” Senator Patrick said.
“In this regard I am particularly pleased to see the language adopted in the AUSMIN communique in support of Taiwan.”
“The last time Taiwan was mentioned in an AUSMIN communique was 15 years ago, in 2005, and that was only a very brief mention which called on China and Taiwan to resolve their differences peacefully through negotiation.”
“The words used in yesterday’s AUSMIN communique are the clearest and strongest support for Taiwan expressed by an Australian Government since we extended diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China in 1972.”
The US and Australian Government have ‘re-affirmed Taiwan’s important role in the Indo-Pacific region’ and signalled their intent to continue ‘to maintain strong unofficial ties with Taiwan and to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations where statehood is not a prerequisite.’
The US and Australia have further expressed their ‘resolve to support Taiwan’ and have ‘reiterated that any resolution of cross-Strait differences should be peaceful and according to the will of the people on both sides, without resorting to threats or coercion.’
“It is consistent with Australia’s values and national interests that we support Taiwan’s democratic autonomy and oppose any attempts to change Taiwan’s status by force or threats of force,” Senator Patrick said.
“The AUSMIN communique is a welcome development in this regard.”