ASPI’s Peter Jennings says Australia will “get a reaction” from China over comments made by former prime minister Tony Abbott.

“I’m sure we’ll get a reaction and it will be the usual type, accusing Australia of having a cold war mentality,” Mr Jennings told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

“Tony Abbott’s quite right to say that the way that China has behaved internationally over the last few years is almost exhausting its ability to shock anymore with the type of language it will use.”

Mr Jennings said Australia had “overly stringently applied” the one-China policy and limited contact with Taiwan, but contact may increase due to China’s aggression.

“I think Australia now needs to rethink how we engage with Taiwan and Tony Abbott is quite right it is a very respectable democracy, a liberal democracy, a country which is an important trading partner of Australia,” he said.

“If people are not going to be interested in the defence of Taiwan, why on earth should we ask other countries to be interested in our defence?”

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