Date: January 24, 2016 T
By: Jared Owens
New Trade Minister Steven Ciobo plans to pursue a bilateral trade deal with
Taiwan, even though Australia does not have official diplomatic relations with the Chinese island.
Mr Ciobo, who last week succeeded Andrew Robb, said overnight that he came to the job with “a number of pokers in the fire” on top of ongoing talks with India, Indonesia and Arab monarchies on the Persian Gulf.
“I am turning my mind towards whether we can do something with Taiwan and separately potentially something with Hong Kong,” he told CNBC in New York.
Australia recognised communist China as the sole legal representative of China in 1972 and therefore no longer accepts Taiwan as a sovereign national government.
Although Australia and Taiwan do not have official diplomatic relations, the Australian government says it strongly supports the development, on an unofficial basis, of two-way economic and cultural contacts. [FULL STORY]