On Friday, Abbott said of China, "Sensing that its relative power might have peaked, with its population aging, its economy slowing, and its finances creaking, it's quite possible that Beijing could lash out disastrously very soon." His comments came in a speech at the Yushan Forum in Taipei, where he called upon Beijing to scale back "the aggression."
The Chinese embassy in Australia shot back on Saturday, describing Abbott as a "failed and pitiful politician." It continued, "His recent despicable and insane performance in Taiwan fully exposed his hideous anti-China features. This will only further discredit him." Abbott said he believes the U.S. will not stand by and "watch Taiwan swallowed up" and that Australia shouldn't be "indifferent to the fate of a fellow democracy of almost 25 million people."