The Chinese embassy has warned Australia against involvement in its actions over Taiwan, saying “finger-pointing” against Beijing was unacceptable.
China launched ballistic missiles during live fire exercises near Taiwan following the controversial visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island earlier in the week.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said Chinese ships and planes conducted missions in the Taiwan Strait, with some crossing the median line, in what the Taiwan military described as a simulation attack on the island.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Friday condemned Beijing’s “disproportionate and destabilising” actions, saying she had expressed her concern to her Chinese counterpart at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia.
The US secretary of state and Japan’s foreign minister also condemned China’s actions.
The Chinese embassy in Australia responded with a spokesperson’s statement on Saturday expressing concern and “discontent” about the remarks from the three countries.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for the finger-pointing on China’s justified actions to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement said.
It accused the US of being the biggest threat to peace in the Taiwan Strait and said Australia should not take sides on maritime disputes between China and Japan.
“We also hope that the Australian side could treat the Taiwan question with caution, does not follow certain countries’ strategy of containing China with Taiwan, and does not create new troubles and disturbances in China-Australia relations,” the spokesperson said.
Senator Wong’s statement on Friday said Australia was “deeply concerned” about the launch of ballistic missiles into waters around Taiwan.
“It is in all our interests to have a region at peace and not in conflict. Australia does not want to see any unilateral change to the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday Australia remains committed to maintaining the “status quo” towards China, but will defend its national interests and values.
“We need to stay the course that we’re on, which is to seek co-operation and positive relations with China where we can, but stand up for Australian values and Australian national interests where we must,” Mr Albanese told ABC radio.
“That includes the issue of law … allowing for safe navigation and passage including through the South China Sea.”