Australia’s foreign minister calls for calm as Beijing raises stakes over Pelosi visit

Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong called for calm amid heightened tensions following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday, Wong called on all countries involved in the Asia-Pacific to seek stability.

“I think it is really important that we all continue to calmly advocate the importance of peace and stability and urge all parties to contribute to easing tensions. “We’re seeing military hardware deployed,” she said.

“We must convey to all parties that this region wishes for regional peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and that all parties should contribute to easing tensions.”

Epoch Times photo
Foreign Secretary Shadow Penny Wong speaks during the Labor Party election campaign at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia, May 1, 2022. (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

However, the foreign minister also said the level of engagement between the US and Taiwanese counterparts is their own matter.

“The Biden administration has historically continued to make it clear that it will honor previous commitments made between the United States and China. We should continue to advocate and continue to work with other parties in the region to help maintain peace and stability in the region, especially across the Taiwan Strait,” Wong said.

Tensions rise in Beijing

The call for calm from Australia’s foreign minister comes after Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping called President Joe Biden last week and said, “Playing with fire will set you on fire.” came after threatening over the visit of On August 3, Beijing announced that it would conduct live-fire military exercises in waters around Taiwan.

The Chinese Communist Party’s state media also took aim at the visit, most notably Hu Shijing, a former Global Times editor who posted on Twitter accusing Pelosi of committing acts of war.

Epoch Times photo
A US military plane carrying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepares to land at Songshan Airport in Taipei, August 2, 2022. (SAM YH/AFP via Getty Images)

“If U.S. fighters escort Pelosi’s planes to Taiwan, that is an invasion,” he wrote, noting that the Chinese military has the right to “forcefully withdraw” Pelosi’s plans and fire warning shots. rice field.

In response, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the United States had not changed its policy on Taiwan.

“Simply put, Beijing could turn a simple visit, in line with longstanding U.S. policy, into a crisis or conflict of sorts, or use it to increase aggressive military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. There’s no reason to,” Kirby said. He said.

“We will not take bait, we will not honk our sabers.At the same time, we will not be afraid. .”

Andrew Thornebrooke contributed to this report.

Victoria Kelly-Clark


Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australia-based reporter focusing on the national politics and geopolitical environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.