Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Penny Wong has released a statement on China’s launch of ballistic missiles into waters around Taiwan’s coastline.
The Eastern Theater Command Army of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Thursday conducted long-range live-fire drills targeting designated areas on the eastern part of the Taiwan Strait.
Senator Wong showing her deep concern has called this as “disproportionate and destabilising.”
Further, Senator Wong has termed it “a serious matter for the region,” including Japan which is Australia’s close strategic partner. She adds:
“Australia shares the region’s concerns about this escalating military activity, especially the risks of miscalculation.”
Senatior Wong has urged China for “urge restraint and de-escalation.” She says:
“It is in all our interests to have a region at peace and not in conflict. Australia does not want to see any unilateral change to the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. There is no change to Australia’s bipartisan one-China policy.”
At this stage, Australia is continuing to monitor the situation in Taiwan and also talking to its allies.
Senator Wong has also expressed Australia’s concerns to her Chinese counterpart:
“Today I have expressed Australia’s concerns to my Chinese counterpart along with other regional foreign ministers in the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, and officials from my department have reiterated our concerns with the Chinese Government.”
Senator Wong is participating in Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) which ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to reports Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walked out of a plenary meeting when their Japanese counterpart spoke.
China has blamed the US for causing tension across the Taiwan Straits by “severely” violating “the one-China principle.”
China has deployed planes and fired live missiles near Taiwan as part of millitary drills in the Taiwan Strait. These exercises were conducted a day after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a trip to Taiwan.
In response to Pelosi’s trip, Chinese government has sanctioned Pelosi and her immediate family members.
Both Taiwan and Japan have protested these missiles and requested “the global community to call on China to halt military activity.”
After condemning China’s missile launches, the White House announced that it would move an aircraft carrier strike group through the Taiwan Strait.