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Tony Abbott takes aim at China in strongly worded speech in Taiwan

Published: in Australian News by .

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has hit out at China’s regime in a provocative speech delivered in Taiwan.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has hit out at China's regime in a provocative speech delivered in Taiwan.

He branded President Xi Jinping as "the new red emperor" as he spoke at a national security forum attended by Taiwan's president and foreign minister.

Mr Abbott's speech began with a list of grievances against China.

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Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is visiting Taiwan.

"Beijing has torn-up the 'one country, two systems' treaty on Hong Kong; put upwards of a million Uighurs into concentration camps; boosted cyber spying on its own citizens; cancelled popular personalities in favour of a cult of the new red emperor; brutalises Indian soldiers in the Himalayas; coerced other claimants in its eastern seas, and flown evermore intimidatory sorties against Taiwan," he said.

"Its embassy has published 14 demands – essentially that we become a tributary state."

He said China's antagonism stemmed from Australia's calls for an inquiry into what Mr Abbott called the "Wuhan virus".

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Xi Jinping and Tony Abbott in 2014.

"Australia has no issue with China. We welcome trade, investments and business," he said.

"Just not further hectoring about being the chewing gum on China's boot."

Mr Abbott referenced China's slowing economy and aging population and "creaking" finances.

"It is quite possible that Beijing could lash out disastrously very soon," Mr Abbott said.

"Our challenge is to try to ensure that the unthinkable remains unlikely, and that the possible does not become the probable."

He said despite China's increasing antagonism, Taiwan's allies were ready to defend it.

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Taiwanese soldiers are seen holding grenade launchers and machine guns and driving tanks, during an operation as part of the 37th edition of the HanKuang military exercise, in Tainan, Taiwan, 14 September 2021. Training including risks assessment and monitoring of enemies have been conducted in the face of the intensifying #threats from China, with the US offering arms sale to the self-ruled island, whilst the island has been building better relations with Japan and other European countries such

"As things stand, how could Taiwanese people ever want to exchange their current lives for an alternative that's poorer and less free?" Mr Abbott said.

"Why would they want to get caught up in the old arguments about who is the 'real' China?"

Mr Abbott's speech has raised eyebrows in Canberra with his visit to Taiwan.

But yesterday Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended the decision to go.

"Tony is in Taiwan as a private citizen, and I didn't have any conversation with him before that," he said.

Source: 9News

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