The day after Australia celebrated Anzac Day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin accused Canberra of “meddling” in Beijing’s internal affairs. He argued how there was “no room for any form of Taiwan independence”.
Mr Wang said: “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Taiwan issue is purely China’s internal affairs that involves China’s core interests and allows no foreign interference.
“China must and will be reunified.
“We are willing to do our utmost to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification, but will never leave any room for any forms of ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist activities.
“We hope the Australian side can avoid sending any wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces and take more actions that is conducive to peace and stability across the strait and for China-Australia relations.”
Tensions between Australia and its biggest trading partner, China, drastically deteriorated last year when Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Communist nation retaliated and imposed arbitrary bans and tariffs on billions of Australian goods.
On Sunday, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the conflict between China and Taiwan “should not be discounted”.
He told ABC: “If you look at any of the rhetoric that is coming out of China, from spokesmen particularly in recent weeks and months in response to different suggestions that have been made, they have been very clear about that goal.
But pressure is mounting on ‘Quad’ members – including Australia, Japan, India and the US – to counter against China’s dominance over Taiwan.
Fears have erupted over recent weeks that under Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing will use military force to reunify Taiwan with mainland China.
Mr Wang continued: “I wish to emphasise that abiding by the One China principle is one of the things that is key to China-Australia relations.
“Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory which cannot be separated.
“The Taiwan issue is entirely China’s internal affair and is related to China’s core interests and we won’t accept any external forces meddling or interfering in this.”
Australian Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo said while Australia should always search for peace, it must also be prepared to “send off our warriors to fight the nation’s wars”.
In his speech to mark Anzac Day, Mr Pezzullo said: “Today, as free nations again hear the beating drums and watch worryingly the militarisation of issues that we had, until recent years, thought unlikely to be catalysts for war, let us continue to search unceasingly for the chance for peace while bracing again, yet again, for the curse of war.
“By our resolve and our strength, by our preparedness of arms, and by our statecraft, let us get about reducing the likelihood of war – but not at the cost of our precious liberty.
“War might well be folly, but the greater folly is to wish away the curse by refusing to give it thought and attention, as if in so doing, war might leave us be, forgetting us perhaps.”