Former ambassador to China Geoff Raby says Tony Abbott’s recent speech in Taiwan will be seen “as a simple joke” in China.

Mr Raby said the comments are unlikely to delay a thawing in Chinese-Australian relationship, which is still frosty despite a recent relaxation of import bans including on thermal coal.

The former Prime Minister’s speech did draw the ire of Chinese officials, who branded Mr Abbott ‘pitful’ and a ‘failed politician’.

The speech will have “no credibility, no weight, and thankfully they will not play into the bilateral relationship between Australia and China”, Mr Raby told Sky News.

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