BLUF

Despite China’s concerns, Australia and the United States appear to be building closer diplomatic and economic ties with Taiwan.

Summary

The September announcement about  AUKUS and Australia's future purchase of nuclear-powered submarines is likely to have had a strategic impact on the region. Further, the release of this year's AUSMIN statement might also cause China concern. In a step forward from the 2020 AUSMIN statement, the 2021 statement includes a notably robust paragraph about Taiwan. The Statement described Taiwan as:
 'a leading democracy and a critical partner'. 
Australia is one of several countries that have signalled concern over Taiwan's security. These concerns have come about in response to Beijing's recent actions, which have included naval exercises and almost daily military flights over the Taiwan Strait. Australia and Taiwan have publicly acknowledged ministerial-level bilateral meetings on trade and investment. Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan has held a virtual conversation with Taiwan's chief trade negotiator John Deng and Taiwan's Economic Development Minister, Wang Mei-Hua. Tehan has also addressed the Australia–Taiwan Business Council's annual meeting in August. Although contact is a normal part of Australia–Taiwan relations, Beijing objects to any actions by governments that treat Taiwan as if it's a sovereign state. As a result, China is especially sensitive about ministerial-level contact. By holding meetings on bilateral trade, Canberra is pushing back against Beijing's efforts to isolate Taipei by aligning Australia's international trade policy with its regional security policy.