Australia stopped recognising Taiwan as a sovereign state when it established formal diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1972.
This was because Australia “acknowledged” Beijing’s “one-china” policy that only one government in the world could represent China, which is Beijing. This can also be seen in the public information released by DFAT.
Diplomatic rhetoric is often subtle and vague, as the content can be often very sensitive. This precisely gives Beijing the opportunity to use the art of language to increase the legitimacy of its regime.
The “acknowledgement” of the one-China policy by Western countries such as Australia and the US has become “recognition” in Beijing’s narrative. This is a point that is easy to miss, even for many people who read Chinese language.
The argument was originated from a language issue too.
Taiwan has called itself the Republic of China and China has called itself the People’s Republic of China.
When the United Nations passed a resolution on October 25, 1971, recognising Beijing as the sole legitimate representative of China, Taipei’s representatives were expelled.
Since then, the one-China policy has been “acknowledged” by more and more countries, but in the eyes of Taipei and Taiwanese people, it is one of the key means by which Beijing ruthlessly suppresses Taiwan’s diplomatic development on the global stage
Taiwan is thus not allowed to join the World Health Organization, even two years after COVID-19 pandemic, and its athletes can only participate in international sporting events under the name of Chinese Taipei.