Australian MPs to visit Taiwan

A number of Australian parliamentarians is preparing to visit Taiwan next month, in another sign both major parties remain determined to resist China’s demand they cut off political contact with Taipei.

Under its one China policy, the Australian government does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign country, but maintains informal political connections — as well as deep trade ties — with the 23-million-strong democracy.

Last year, six Australian MPs visited Taiwan, ending a three-year pause on visits by Australian parliamentary delegations triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, Taipei is organising a larger visiting delegation of 10 Australian MPs, who are set to arrive in Taiwan late next month.

This year’s group will include Labor MPs Josh Wilson, David Smith and Graham Perrett, as well as Shadow Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Claire Chandler.

The delegation will be closely monitored by China, which claims self-governed Taiwan as its own territory, and which has intensified efforts to politically isolate the government of Ms Tsai ahead of elections early next year.