Despite China’s criticism of British parliamentarians’ continued visit to Taiwan, which it describes as “flagrant interference” in the internal affairs of East Asian countries, an Australian parliamentary delegation will visit the country next week.
It is the first visit of its kind in years.
And the Australian “ABC” news network reported, on Saturday, that the delegation consists of 6 members.
The trip to Taiwan is organized by Liberal MP Scott Buchholz, with the participation of former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, as well as Labor MPs Meryl Swanson and Libby Cocker.
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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it was not unusual for politicians to visit Taiwan.
“There have been several visits to Taiwan for a long time, and this is a new visit,” media outlets quoted the prime minister as saying, explaining that “this is not an official visit.”
Albanese added that “some visitors to Taiwan are reluctant to announce their visit due to political sensitivities,” but they say it is “important that Australia maintains a close relationship with both mainland China and Taiwan, and is supportive of democracy in the region,” according to the newspaper.
Last month, Albanese said his country would not support Taiwan’s membership in the Comprehensive and Advanced Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) because it is not a recognized country.
His remarks came after his recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Indonesian island of Bali.
British Member of Parliament Alicia Cairns is visiting Taiwan at the head of her 7-member delegation, which began last Tuesday and ends today.