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Not so fast, Albanese tells China as Quad reunites in Japan

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Ahead of the election, Beijing has said through indirect channels that a change of government would be an opportunity to reset Sino-Australian relations.

For the first time, China suggested it needed to compromise, rather than blaming it all on Australia.

After the defeat of the Morrison government on Saturday, Beijing
spokesperson for the English language, The overall times, said the election of
Mr Albanese “foresees a turning point for Sino-Australian relations which are currently at an all-time low”.

“Morrison, in particular, has put his tough stance against China at the forefront of his election campaign,” he said.

“However, Saturday’s results showed once again that Australians care more about their government’s commitments and actions on issues related to people’s wellbeing, such as climate change, soaring prices and wages, than the unwarranted threat from China.”

On Monday, he had hardened his line, saying that the presence of Mr. Albanese
quad was “the first test of the political wisdom of the new
Australian Government”.

“Especially on the question of whether it might shed the shadow of previous
Scott Morrison’s anti-China strategy that has deeply damaged his own economy and trade.

The Prime Minister, accompanied by Foreign Minister Penny Wong,
flew to Tokyo on Monday for the meeting with his United States,
Japanese and Indian counterparts.

The decision to attend the elections so close was intended to send a signal of the new government’s commitment to regional security and stability.

The Morrison government sought to make national security a key point of difference during the election campaign, but its credentials were damaged when the Solomon Islands and Beijing announced their security pact midway through the campaign.

Mr Albanese said Scott Morrison’s Pacific Step-Up had become a
Pacific Stuff-Up and he blamed the Pacific Coalition’s withdrawal of economic aid and its poor record on climate change as factors.

The former government suggested that the Solomon Islands government could have bribed to get closer to China.

Mr Morrison said Australia and the United States had agreed that establishing a Chinese naval base in the Solomons would draw “a red line”.

What this actually means should be discussed at the Quad. As a statement of Australia’s commitment to trying to stop such deals with China, Mr Albanese will present the leaders of the United States, Japan and India with his political pledges to increase the economic and diplomatic aid to the region and to combat climate change.

The “package” includes an aid increase of $470 million over four years, the appointment of a special envoy for Southeast Asia and other diplomatic initiatives.

On the sidelines of the Quad, Mr. Biden will launch his Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which is an attempt to substitute for the United States’ decision to withdraw from the 11-member regional free trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

While Australia and Japan back the initiative as a stepping stone to U.S. membership in the TPP, “no amount of cheerleading will make up for the fact that the framework is a Spakfilla policy that cannot replace the absence of America’s Regional Trade Agreements,” Richard wrote. Maud in The Australian Financial Review Last week.

Mr Maude, executive director of policy at Asia Society Australia, said the IPEF was nothing more than a “list of US-centric initiatives on digital trade, labor and the environment. when Southeast Asia wants to access the market”.