Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says his upcoming visit to Tokyo for the Quad leaders’ summit will send a message to the world about the change of government in Australia.
The prime minister flies to Tokyo on Monday to meet with US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the summit.
While he said his appearance at the meeting would show a change in how Australia would be run, there would also be stability for international relations.
“The meetings that we will have … are going to be very important, in a good way, to send a message to the world that there’s a new government in Australia,” he told reporters in Canberra.
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“It’s a government that represents a change in the way we deal with the world on issues like climate change, but also a continuity in the way we have respect for democracy and the way that we value our friendships and long-time alliances.”
Mr Albanese received a phone call from President Biden on Sunday night, which the prime minister said was “fruitful and productive”.
“The relationship with the United States is our most important, along with our relationships in the region and our multilateral commitments as well,” Mr Albanese said.
The prime minister is travelling to Tokyo along with newly sworn-in Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
Expected to be on the agenda is the role of China within the Indo-Pacific region, coming off the back of a recent security pact with the Solomon Islands.
It comes as President Biden said the US would intervene if China were to invade Taiwan.
Speaking alongside the Japanese prime minister ahead of the Quad talks, President Biden said the burden to protect the island was even stronger since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
“That’s the commitment we made,” he said.
The US president also said there would be concrete benefits for people in the Indo-Pacific from a new trade pact between the US and Asian economies.
Mr Albanese said the relationship with China remained difficult.
“It is China that has changed, not Australia, and Australia should always stand up for our values and we will in a government that I lead,” he said.
“What we should do is put Australia’s national interests first and not attempt to play politics with national security issues.”
According to a White House readout, Mr Biden congratulated Mr Albanese on the election win and reaffirmed his nation’s “steadfast commitment to the alliance”.
He said the Quad summit was a vital opportunity to exchange views and continue to drive practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.