China acting 'Mafia-like' over Taiwan claims activist
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The Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, has been criticised for his use of “classic thug tactics” during an address to the National Press Club of Australia. During the conference, Mr Qian rejected the idea that China’s recent actions against Taiwan should be considered an “invasion”, while asserting Beijing would use “all necessary means” to claim Taiwan within its territory. Lawyer and pro-democracy activist Kevin Yam condemned the speech given by the Chinese Ambassador, accusing Mr Qian of using “Mafia-like” threats in an attempt to legitimise aggressive Chinese tactics.
Speaking on Sky News Australia, Mr Yam offered his analysis of the speech: “It’s very Mafia-like”
He continued: “It’s all delivering a chilling message with a smile on his face.
“The whole thing about we’ll use all necessary means to take back Taiwan and you can use your imagination to think what ‘all necessary means’ might mean, with a little smirk on his face.
“All of that is classic thug tactics.”
During his address to the National Press Club, Mr Qian criticised American media coverage of Chinese intervention with Taiwan, describing journalists’ attitudes as “mostly negative” against China.
When questioned on recent actions by the Chinese Government, Mr Qian said: “I’d rather not use the word ‘invasion’ when we talk about China and Taiwan.”
He added: “Taiwan is not an independent state, Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China.”
Speaking of future action to secure the territory of Taiwan, Mr Qian said: “We can never rule out the option to use other means. Where necessary, when compelled, we are ready to use all necessary means.”
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Mr Yam continued his criticism of the Chinese Ambassador as he added: “I think it’s fair to say that in a free society, citizens do not respond well to threats.
“Those sorts of threats might work well in an authoritarian where you know that you can back up your threats with arrests and torture .
“In a place like Australia, that’s not going to work.”
Mr Qian was faced with fierce questioning from Australian journalists as they quizzed the Ambassador on the legitimacy of China’s claim over Taiwan.
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Tensions between Taiwan and China have escalated rapidly in recent months as China has conducted a series of large-scale military exercises around the self-governing island.
Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer described China’s actions as “chilling” and emphasised the need for nations across the globe to assert that any military action to obtain the territory would be “completely unacceptable.”
The American Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last week, against threats of repercussions from Chinese authorities, sparking China to conduct further military exercises in the region.
Following the visit by Ms Pelosi, Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles has called for a “return to calm” and urged against further military actions close to Taiwan.
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