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news.com.au 23 Nov, 2021 00:30 am

Taiwan, China war: Penny Wong accuses Scott Morrison of ‘dangerous election tactic’

Taiwan, China war: Penny Wong accuses Scott Morrison of ‘dangerous election tactic’
Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman says Scott Morrison is embarking on “the most dangerous election tactic in Australian history” by talking up the prospect of war with China over Taiwan.

Scott Morrison has been accused by Labor of embarking on “the most dangerous election tactic in Australian history” with his China war talk.Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman says Scott Morrison is embarking on “the most dangerous election tactic in Australian history” by talking up the prospect of war with China over Taiwan.Picture: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images In the United States, Democratic and Republican administrations have long held to a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over whether America would support Taiwan in a war with China, while Australia’s bipartisan position has been to deter unilateral changes to the status quo.Penny Wong will make the comments in a speech on Tuesday to the Australian National University, where she will accuse the Prime Minister of “desperately playing politics on China whenever he’s in trouble” and Defence Minister Peter Dutton of straying from longstanding bipartisan policy on Taiwan, according to a preview of her remarks provided to The Guardian .

“Surely the real question is not, as he suggests, whether we declare our intentions, but why the Defence Minister is amping up war, rather than working to maintain longstanding policy to preserve the status quo – as advocated by the Taiwanese leader, Tsai Ing-wen,” she will say.Ms Wong will accuse the Defence Minister of playing into Beijing’s hands, highlighting the observation by the Lowy Institute’s Natasha Kassam that China has long pushed the narrative that “the only options available to Taiwan are unification or war”.

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