On only his second visit to Melbourne since taking up the post in Canberra a year ago, Yamagami emphasised Taiwan’s importance to the “peace and stability” across the East China Sea, the Pacific, and – through its place in global supply chains – the world.
Taiwan, which had seen its diplomatic status steadily decline since the 1970s, has re-emerged as a flashpoint in China-US tensions in the past year.
Chinese President Xi Jinping last month said the “historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled” – a comment seen as threatening military action over Taiwan.
China frequently sails military ships through the Taiwan Strait in a show of force. US ships also routinely transit the waterway in what’s considered a show of support for Taipei.
The security situation has worsened not just for Taiwan but Japan, where a small flotilla of Chinese and Russian ships recently passed between the…