Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says his new government’s position on climate change has been welcomed by Australia’s key allies.
Speaking to the media ahead of a flight from Tokyo to Canberra following a summit of leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), Mr Albanez said he was “particularly pleased” with the reception he received during bilateral meetings on Tuesday.
“There are many agreed positions on Australia’s national security. But there are some differences with the former Australian government, especially when it comes to climate change,” he said.
“And the new government I lead has been welcomed by the leaders of the United States, Japan and India. I look forward to moving forward and building that relationship.”
The new prime minister has promised his government to fight climate change, including higher emission reduction targets than his predecessor Scott Morrison.
Mr Albanese added that a summit of four leaders would be held in Australia next year and that he looked forward to resolving “internal problems” in the coming days.
Joe Biden and Anthony Albanese exchanged jokes during the first meeting
US President Joe Biden and Anthony Olbanez exchanged jokes, memories and even sleep advice during their first meeting since winning Mr Albanez’s election.
Mr Biden, who has deepened US ties with Australia as part of China’s containment strategy, called the US-Australia alliance “an anchor of stability and prosperity” in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to the White House, their discussions at the door touched on topics such as the AUKUS Security Pact between Australia, Britain and the United States, as well as efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
In public exchanges, however, Mr Biden joked that his colleague, elected only last weekend, had “worked for a long time”.
He expressed admiration that Mr Albanese had decided to fly to Tokyo for a Quad meeting so soon after his election victory, saying it showed Australia’s “all-in” attitude.
“You took the oath and got on the plane,” Mr. Biden said.
“If you fall asleep while you’re here, that’s okay because I don’t know how you do it.
Mr. Albanese did not show fatigue when he began to joke.
Praising the two countries as “great friends,” he recalled that he visited the United States many years ago as a “young guy” under a State Department guest program to experience the country.
During the trip, he conducted a study of the diversity of American society, studying groups ranging from the National Rifle Association’s weapons lobby to planned parenting that promotes access to abortion.
It was, Mr. Albanese said with a laugh, “a complete set and sneakers across the spectrum.”
China and Russia fly military aircraft near Japanese airspace during the Quad summit
Russian and Chinese bombers conducted a joint patrol near the air defense zones of Japan and South Korea on Tuesday to say goodbye to US President Joe Biden, who ended a trip to Asia that struck Beijing.
The patrols came hours after Mr Biden angered China by saying he would be ready for a military response to defend Taiwan if it comes under Chinese attack, and when he discussed responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Quadra leaders. unites the United States with Australia. , India and Japan.
Japan said it boarded the ship after Russian and Chinese warplanes approached its airspace while Tokyo hosted Quad leaders. Tokyo called the exercises a provocation.
According to a senior U.S. official, these were the first joint military exercises of China and Russia after Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, and they took place at the end of Mr. Biden’s four-day trip to South Korea and Japan.
“China is not moving away from Russia. Instead, the exercises show that China is ready to help Russia defend its East, and Russia is fighting in the West,” the official said.
The undated photo shows a J-15 fighter preparing to land on the Chinese Navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier during combat training on the high seas. Credit: Anonymous / AP
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a regular briefing that a joint patrol had crossed the Sea of Japan and continued the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea.
He said the exercises were probably planned in advance and showed that the “unlimited” strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow, announced a few weeks before the invasion of Ukraine, was “completely alive and well.”
“On the other hand, the successful visit of the president … demonstrates a stark contrast to what we have seen in Russia and China; it demonstrates our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
Mr Biden’s trip was part of a U.S. effort to counter what Washington called Beijing’s “coercive” behavior, including against Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing claims as its own.
He promised that Washington would work with allies and partners to create a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
At a news conference Monday, Mr. Biden said “yes” when asked if he would be ready for a military response to China’s attack on Taiwan, seemingly violating long-standing policies by not making it clear how the United States could react.
This was the latest in a series of apparently unconventional allegations suggesting that his personal inclination was to defend the island, although Biden said U.S. policy had not changed.
Some critics say he mispronounced or made a mistake. But other analysts believe that, given Joe Biden’s extensive foreign policy experience and context, he spoke alongside the Japanese prime minister and, while the war raged in Ukraine, he was not wrong.
Analysts and advisers said Mr Biden had traveled to Asia with a clear message to China not to try what Russia had done in Ukraine, anywhere in the region, especially not in Taiwan.
The joint patrol over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea lasted 13 hours, involving Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers and Chinese Xian H-6 bombers, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Japanese and South Korean Air Force aircraft monitored Russian and Chinese aircraft during the exercise, the report said.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishido and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are waving their hands before talks at the Indo-Pacific Group summit in Tokyo on May 24, 2022. Credit: AP
China’s defense ministry said it was part of the annual military exercises.
A U.S. official said Chinese naval vessels were likely involved in the exercise.
Tokyo has conveyed “serious concerns” to both Russia and China through diplomatic channels, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told a news conference.
“We believe that the fact that this action was done during the Quad summit makes it more provocative than in the past,” he said.
At the meeting, Mr. Biden was accompanied by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, the newly elected leader of Australia Anthony Albanese and the Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida.
In a joint statement, the leaders said they had “discussed appropriate responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the continuing tragic humanitarian crisis.” But in the clear concession of India, which maintains close ties with Moscow, the words “Russia” or “Russian” did not appear.
“Act of Disobedience”
Daniel Russell, the U.S. chief diplomat for East Asia during the Obama administration, said sending military planes near Japan’s airspace while Joe Biden and other leaders were there was “a vicious act of disobedience to Beijing and Moscow against growing solidarity among key democrats.” states ”.
Rand Corporation analyst Derek Grossman said the exercises were “clearly designed to show Beijing’s frustration with the Quad summit and all of President Biden’s affairs over the past few days.”
He said Moscow could also return the favor after Beijing backed Russia’s narrative that the United States and NATO were to blame for the war in Ukraine.
South Korea said at least four Chinese and four Russian warplanes had entered the air defense zone several times during the day.
At a meeting on Sunday, its new presidents, Yun Suk Yol and Biden, pledged to support measures seen as countering China’s regional influence, and criticized Russia’s war in Ukraine.