Scott Morrison warns China not to start war with ‘bits and bytes’, not bullets

“Together with Japan, the United States and India, we have resisted China’s assertiveness. We weren’t intimidated,” says Morrison.

Morrison is also urging Labor to consider sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where many international human rights organizations have acknowledged the genocide of Uyghur people.


“While it would be naïve to think that targeted sanctions against Chinese officials in Xinjiang or higher would eliminate such abuses, that argument alone negates the value of such sanctions,” Morrison said.

He acknowledges that this could lead to reprisals against Australian citizens being held in China, but says: “One argument that should not prevail is that we impose such sanctions out of fear of political, commercial or diplomatic reprisals from the authorities Chinese government would not push.”

Truss, who like Morrison is now a backbench MP, says in her speech that Taiwan should be given greater international standing and be given economic and military support through an expanded “Pacific Alliance” to help Taipei withstand China’s attempts at reunification.

Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss says Taiwan should be given greater international status.

Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss says Taiwan should be given greater international status. Credit:AP

“In my view, that [China’s unification] would be disastrous,” Truss says, adding that the free world must learn the lesson if it hasn’t stood up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and speculate that the current war in Europe would have been averted if Ukraine joined NATO would have been.

“We should do everything we can to strengthen our ties with Taiwan; We know we are doing more now to prevent future tragedies,” Truss said.

She advocates an economic version of NATO’s Article 5, which promises that all NATO countries will come to the aid of anyone else who is attacked. She also calls for an audit of all infrastructure holdings and warns that “we cannot have a situation where Beijing has the power to turn off the lights”.

“We should rush to the defense of any nation under attack by targeting their trade,” she says.


Truss also supports Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Organization and said its absence cost the world valuable insights that helped manage the outbreak of COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

Governments that have agreed with China to block Taiwan’s diplomatic status should reconsider those moves, Truss says.

“The world has changed since then, and some of those arrangements are being reconsidered,” she says. “We should find ways to elevate Taiwan’s status that reflects its global worth.”

Verhofstadt, an ardent supporter of the European Union, reiterated his calls for a European Defense Union.

“Whatever your ideas about Brexit, don’t let them undermine our common interests: in today’s world, democracies must be unequivocally and unconditionally united,” he says, referring to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union .

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Callan Tansill

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