Australia PM Anthony Albanese will attend his first international summit- the meeting of the Quad of Japan, India, the United States and Australia tomorrow.
Albanese will also be sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia following the victory of his Labor party in the federal parliamentary elections against the incumbent Liberal-National Coalition led by Scott Morrison. While national security was a frequent topic during the election, the change in government is unlikely to significantly change Australian foreign policy- the Labor party supports the continuation of the Quad arrangement and the AUKUS agreement.
One significant election promise of Albanese’s Labor Party is an increase in foreign aid spending directed at the Pacific island’s region. This additional spending is likely to intensify the competition for influence in the region between itself and China. While Australia was largely successful in outbidding or blocking Chinese ventures in the region, a recent agreement between the Solomon Islands and Beijing—which enables China to establish a naval base in the region has caused significant concern in Canberra. Expect Australia under Albanese to continue close cooperation with the United States and other partners to limit Chinese influence in the region.
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Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.