Anti-China senator shames Australia by meddling in Taiwan question
Published: Oct 31, 2021 11:44 PM
China Australia Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

China Australia Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Australian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz told the ABC News that he believes Australia would be "duty bound" to help defend the island of Taiwan in a war with the Chinese mainland and he is pushing for "full diplomatic relations" with the "democratic" island amid growing military tensions, according to ABC News on Friday.

It is no surprise that Abetz, long infamous for his right-wing conservative positions and for being a deeply anti-China lawmaker on China-related issues, has expressed these opinions.  

At a time when China-Australia relations are at a low ebb and continue to deteriorate, his remarks are intended to attract the attention of the public opinion in Australia. 

"But such remarks are not representative at all. Senators are not government officials. Presumably, the Australian government will not endorse or support his view as well," an expert at the China Institute of International Studies who asked for anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.

Abetz's belief that Australia would be "duty bound" to help defend the island of Taiwan is his own wishful thinking. In recent days, Australian politicians including Australia's defense minister Peter Dutton have said if there were a real conflict across the Taiwan Straits, Australia would only follow the US, and Australia is unlikely to get involved as an independent power over the Taiwan question beyond its military alliance with the US.

That is to say, such clamor to establish "diplomatic ties" with the island of Taiwan and "defend" Taiwan is nothing but nonsense.

Australia can hardly get anything from the island of Taiwan. It's just a childish act of some radical Australian politicians to provoke the Chinese mainland.

When the relationship between China and Australia was good, these hawks lost their precarious influence. Right now, when the bilateral relationship is freezing, these anti-China figures are eager to "show off" and try to recapture their influence.

Abetz also suggested on Thursday that a free trade agreement be struck between Australia and the island of Taiwan. Any politician with common sense can tell what's truly in Australia's interest. The idea of establishing "diplomatic" or "political" relations with the island of Taiwan to help Australia develop trade makes no sense at all.

Ignorant politicians like Abetz have become marginalized in Australia. Such extreme anti-China rhetoric has long lost its market, catering to only a few conservative parties and habitual racists. During a Senate committee hearing in 2020 focusing on diversity in Australian politics, Abetz repeatedly asked three Chinese Australians about their attitude toward the Communist Party of China. Australian media outlets and Kevin Rudd, the country's former prime minister, called the attack "repugnant." Although accusations and outrage were ignited in Australia, Abetz refused to apologize for his irresponsible actions. A poor and failed politician like him making such ridiculous remarks about Taiwan brings shame on not only himself but also Australia. It will further discredit his reputation, if he has ever had reputation.

Abetz once again exposed his insularity and ignorance in the wake of the racist outburst in which he publicly challenged the three Chinese Australians to prove their "loyalty to Australia." If such politicians could make a splash or even became a force that may influence the public opinion and policymaking in Australia, the world should really be nervous about Australia's future.