Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot arrives in Taiwan

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, center, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shake hands at the start of their meeting at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday ahead of the planned Double Tenth celebrations marking the founding of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Abbott will deliver a keynote speech at the “Yushan forum — an Asian regional dialogue conference” organized by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation on Friday morning.

The former prime minister, who arrived on a flight from Singapore earlier that day, was greeted at Taoyuan International Airport by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tien Chung-kwang (田中光).

He will be received by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and several Taiwanese officials ahead of the annual National Day celebrations.

Wu told local media that Taiwan “warmly welcomes” Abbott who recently expressed support for Taiwan’s participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The arrival of a former Australian official in Taiwan comes at a sensitive time amid the worsening of cross-strait relations.

According to The Guardian, Abbott said Australia should not allow a “fear of inflaming tensions with China to get in the way of accepting Taiwan’s bid and that he was “strongly in favor” of Taiwan’s inclusion.”