Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has dodged answering whether Australia would support Taiwan in the event of an invasion by Chinese forces.
The Prime Minister had his feet held to the fire on the issue by Sky News Australia’s Piers Morgan during an interview in London this week.
Morgan dared the Prime Minister to answer whether Australia “might go to war over Taiwan at the urgings of the United States or anyone else”.
Mr Albanese deftly responded by telling the broadcaster he prioritised a “peaceful” Indo-Pacific region and his government had continued the AUKUS submarine deal to lift up “our national security”.
Morgan was not content to let the Prime Minister off the hook with that response, however, and repeatedly grilled him on whether China would invade Taiwan and what Australia’s response would be if it occurred.
“I don’t think it is constructive to speculate on matters like that. We support the status quo when it comes to Taiwan,” Mr Albanese fired back.
“I don’t see it as constructive to speculate on hypotheticals.
“What’s important, and the role of peace and security and stability in the region is advanced by having a very clear position, which is support for the status quo of no unilateral action by either side in those issues.”
In an interview with Sky News Australia last Friday, one of Taiwan’s most senior officials warned Beijing would launch a cross-strait attack in just four years.
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu expressed deep concern about the potential for future armed conflict and indicated the self-governing island would be forced to “defend itself” if China did invade.
“That is what the Chinese leaders have said, by the year 2027 they will have the full capacity for launching a war against Taiwan and that happens to be the year Xi Jinping will assume the fourth term,” he said.
US President Joe Biden has repeatedly said American forces would defend Taiwan if China attacked in an apparent defiance of Washington’s longstanding One China policy of “strategic ambiguity” regarding the island.
The United States administration has since publicly maintained the One China policy – where the country has formal diplomatic ties with Beijing and informal ties with Taipei – is still in place.
Mr Albanese’s remarks to Morgan are line with those of Defence Minister Richard Marles, who has previously said there had been no promise between Australia and the US to join American forces in support of Taiwan.
Piers Morgan’s interview with Anthony Albanese will air on Sky News Australia tonight at 11pm.
News Source: www.skynews.com.au