China has called on Australia to abandon its “Cold War mentality” and re-evaluate its relationship with Beijing, following former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to Chinese Taipei, during which he pledged that Canberra would support the self-ruled island against Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a regular press briefing on Monday, saying Beijing had lodged “solemn representations” with Canberra over the visit as well as Abbott’s “inappropriate” comments about Chinese pressure against Taipei.
“We advise individuals in Australia to abandon the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, respect basic facts, view China and China’s development objectively and rationally, and stop making irresponsible remarks,” Zhao said.
Zhao further asserted that Abbott had grossly interfered in Chinese internal affairs by visiting the self-ruled island, accusing him of using his political interests to instigate confrontation between Beijing and Canberra.
He further denounced as “ridiculous” Abbott’s comments during his visit to the self-governed island, saying any attempt to promote the “China threat theory” as well as the slander of Chinese affairs is “very immoral, extremely irresponsible, and destined to be unpopular.”
In a visit to Taipei last week, Abbott called on countries to be ready for a conflict, induced by “Chinese aggression,” suggesting that any escalation over Taipei could divide the world into two camps, “democracies versus dictators.”
“The relevant words and actions by the Australian politician go against the ‘One China’ principle and send a seriously wrong signal,” Zhao said, adding “China is firmly opposed to this. We have made stern representations to Australia.”
In a statement on its website on Saturday, China’s Embassy in Australia called Abbott a “failed” and “pitiful” politician, saying his recent performance in Taipei “will only further discredit him.”
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