China has officially responded to the arrival of six Australian federal MPs in Taiwan, warning Australia to "stop sending wrong signals".
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning kept it brief on Tuesday when asked about the visit, reiterating Beijing's one-China principle.
"Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The one-China principle is a universally recognised norm in international relations and the prerequisite and political foundation for the development of friendly relations between China and other countries," she said.
"The Australian side should earnestly adhere to the one-China principle, stop all forms of official interaction with the Taiwan region and stop sending wrong signals to “Taiwan-independence” separatist forces."
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It comes after Beijing mouthpiece the Global Times suggested Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been "insincere" with his intent to mend Sino-Australian relations, suggesting he did not sufficiently condemn the delegation due to arrive in Taipei.
"Considering Albanese's vague and cop-out remarks which will undoubtedly encourage the arrogance of anti-China forces and pro-Taiwan secessionist forces in Australia, there is a big question mark hanging over Australia's sincerity on improving its relations with China," the nationalistic tabloid said.
China regularly and vehemently defends its claim to Taiwan and has warned it will reunify the democratic island state with force if needs be. Beijing has increasingly seen visits to Taiwan as an interference with internal matters.
A visit from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this year triggered Chinese military drills, including the firing of missiles, in waters surrounding Taiwan.
Mr Albanese moved to distance himself and his government from the delegation, despite two Labor backbenchers among the visiting party. Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has also made the trip.
Mr Albanese said he had "no idea" what the delegation's intentions are for the visit.
The delegation will reportedly meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, with the visit having support from Taiwan's foreign ministry. Meetings will reportedly be held on security, trade, agriculture and indigenous affairs.
Relations with China have however improved following a torrid two-and-a-half year period under the Morrison government. Mr Albanese became the first prime minister to meet President Xi Jinping in six years in what he described as a "positive thing".
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