China lashes Australia after 'extremely absurd' remarks

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·News Reporter
·2-min read
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Beijing has officially responded to former prime minister Tony Abbott's visit to Taiwan last week. 

While China's embassy in Canberra lambasted Mr Abbott as a "failed and pitiful politician", Beijing had been silent over his visit and there was no mention of his controversial comments at Friday's foreign ministry daily briefing after a week-long absence.

But on Monday, the characteristically sharp-tongued spokesperson Zhao Lijian was pressed on Mr Abbott's visit and did not hold back.

"The remarks of certain Australian politician are completely confusing black and white and extremely absurd," he said.

Tony Abbott pictured at the Yushan Forum during his visit to Taiwan. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taiwan
Tony Abbott pictured at the Yushan Forum during his visit to Taiwan. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taiwan

"Such remarks that incite confrontation, drum up the "China threat theory", grossly interfere in China's internal affairs and wantonly slander and smear China out of selfish political gain are immoral, irresponsible and find no support."

In a keynote speech, Mr Abbott accused Beijing of being a bully and said Australia had been unfairly targeted, particularly the nation's trade sector. 

He said democracies around the world should support Taiwan as it faces increasing pressure from China over its attempts to be recognised as an independent country.

Zhao Lijian pictured in Beijing in a suit.
Zhao Lijian heavily criticised Mr Abbott's remarks. Source: FMPRC

And while Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed Mr Abbott's visit was in a private capacity and not affiliated with Canberra, it has been witnessed as yet another incident that will only worsen badly-depleted Sino-Australian relations.

Mr Zhao used Mr Abbott's visit to once again to take a shot at the Australian government and to urge it to change its ways.

"We urge some individuals in Australia to abandon the Cold War mentality and ideological bias, respect basic facts, view China and its development in an objective and rational way, and stop making irresponsible remarks," he said.

Mr Zhao has recently been critical of remarks from Defence Minister Peter Dutton who he says is unnecessarily hyping up the possibility of military conflict in the Indo-Pacific.

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