FORMER prime minister Liz Truss has made thousands of pounds through a series of speaking engagements - including an £80,000 payment for a five-day trip to Taiwan.

Truss, who resigned in October 2022 after serving just 44 days in the role, was severely criticised by China for visiting Taiwan and was the first British leader to visit the country since Margaret Thatcher in 1996.

The Tory MP was also paid thousands of pounds for three other speaking engagements listed on her parliamentary register of interests from January 2023. Overall, she was paid £191,088.02.

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Truss was invited to Taipei by Taiwan’s foreign ministry in a bid to strengthen Western ties amid China’s escalating aggression. She was paid £10,841 by the Taiwanese government for flights and accommodation, according to an earlier entry on her register.

Flights cost £7670, hospitality £264, and accommodation for four nights for Truss and a staffer cost £2907. 

However, an additional huge payment of £80,000 was made to Truss by the Prospect Foundation, a Taiwan-based think tank, for whom she gave a keynote address on May 17.

Prospect has previously been sanctioned by China, and while Taiwan’s foreign ministry said that speaking engagements like Truss’s were common for outgoing British leaders, they did not comment on the speaking fee as they were not involved in the contract.

"If Beijing keeps its word and escalates aggression towards Taiwan, substantial decoupling will be unavoidable,” Truss said in her speech while urging the West not to work with China.

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She also compared the self-governed East Asian island with Ukraine.

“If we fail to prepare for this, the consequent economic pain will be felt by all of our people across the free world," she said.

Beijing condemned the visit and called it a “dangerous political stunt” which would harm the UK.

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London said that Truss should “correct her wrongdoing” and “stop making political shows”.

Truss has made over £180,000 in speaking engagements since leaving the role of PM, which pales in comparison to her predecessor Boris Johnson, who made millions after resigning over partygate and numerous scandals.

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In February, Truss received £65,751.62 for a speaking engagement from Ananda Bazar Patrika, an Indian newspaper, in Mumbai. Truss and a staff member also had accommodation and flights paid for, totaling £1800.

Tokyo University paid £6443.60 for a two-hour speech in Tokyo in March, and £32,000 for a speech in Bern, Switzerland. Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG, a Swiss newspaper publishing company also paid £910 for accommodation and £1717 for flights for Truss and a staffer.

During the trip, Chartwell Speakers paid for Truss to use Zurich Airport’s VIP Service, valued at £612.

It comes as the Taiwanese government has been ramping up its effort to build Western relations to deter China’s advances, inviting state leaders and visiting ally countries in Central America.

Chinese State media Global Times claimed that prior to Truss, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Nancy Pelosi, former house speaker, received similar payments for their visits and speaking engagements.