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Australia’s Ambassador To US Warns War Over Taiwan Will Change World

Australia's Kevin Rudd, WWII, Taiwan,


Australia’s ambassador to the US, Kevin Rudd, stated that the global consequences of a war over Taiwan would be as great as the impact of WWII. He contended that the world would become “a radically different place.”

Rudd said this in a speech in Honolulu on Thursday.

“We would be foolish to ignore the increasing clarity of China’s military signalling, including the pattern of its most recent military exercises.” Rudd was twice Australia’s prime minister in the previous decade.

The former Australian prime minister said the timing of the war was likely to happen in the next 10 years. Chinese President Xi Jinping turns 71 this month. Rudd contended that if he wants to achieve “final national unification” with Taiwan he will act before he reaches his 80s.

US deterrence will also play a strong part in deciding China’s actions.

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China claims Taiwan as its own territory. It has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. Taiwan strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims. It says only the island’s people can decide their future.

The United States has expressed concern about Chinese military activity near Taiwan, especially after the island’s presidential election. China has warned the US not to interfere in its affairs.

Taiwan and the US have no official diplomatic relationship. Washington formally recognises Beijing but is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself. It is the island’s most important international backer.

The US recognises that if China was successful in annexing Taiwan it would impact its credibility. Rudd said it will also have “profound, and potentially irreversible effect on the perceived reliability of US alliances worldwide.” However, he added that the US, China and Taiwan have a common interest in avoiding open military confrontation.

“The economic costs, domestic political impacts, and unknowable geo-strategic consequences that such a war would generate would likely be of an order of magnitude that we have not seen since the Second World War.” This would happen regardless of the outcome.

With inputs from Reuters