Australian ex-Prime Ministers have certainly been making some noise of late. The latest former Prime Minister to make headlines is none other than Tony Abbott. Abbott has touched down in Taiwan, ahead of his keynote speech at the Yushun regional forum. The forum is hosted by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, and comes at a time when tensions are running high between Australia, and the Republic of China, which Taiwan is a part of.
Tony Abbott flies to Taiwan for keynote speech as tensions rise with China https://t.co/VtJ2HS5asK
— ABC News (@abcnews) October 5, 2021
Abbott’s team confirmed last week that he would be attending the conference, as a private attendee. Flying from Australia to Singapore, then onto Taoyuan airport in Taiwan.
Other attendees at the event will be some of Taiwan’s most senior political figures: President Tsai Ing-wen, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.
Abbott’s trip comes as recent air invasions by China occurred over Taiwan’s air defence zone, seeing tension escalate between the countries.. In July during a think-tank that took place in London, Abbott had strong words about China relations commenting, “[China is]…asserting itself aggressively in what’s at best a cold peace, and more likely, a new Cold War”.
Australia’s former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made a surprise trip to Taiwan, as tensions with Beijing reach record highs pic.twitter.com/amEieBjuH7
— ticker NEWS (@tickerNEWSco) October 6, 2021
On Tuesday, Taiwan was urged to be on alert, with Taiwan’s premier Su Tseng-Chang stating that the air incursions equalled violation of regional peace. A Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesman has said Abbott “is a firm friend of our country and has spoken for Taiwan many times”.
Abbott has been warmly welcomed into Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Tien Chung-Kwang.
During his time as Prime Minister, Abbott was known for making a few faux pas, such as devouring an onion, like it was an apple and declaring the late Prince Phillip a knight.