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Australia's China challenge


Defence Minister Richard Marles.

China takes aim at ‘commander’ Marles as no better than Dutton

Chinese tabloid The Global Times published an editorial saying Richard Marles had become one of the government’s “most aggressive actors against China”.

  • Andrew Tillett

This Month

At the Pacific Islands Forum, Anthony Albanese achieved probably his most important objective – making face-to-face contact with his fellow leaders in the Pacific.

How Australia rekindled crucial Pacific ties

After launching a full court diplomatic press, Australia has made some much-needed headway with its closest neighbours.

  • Andrew Tillett
Anthony Albanese has officially associated Australia with warning of a climate emergency.

Albanese joins Pacific leaders to declare climate emergency

For the first time Australia has officially acknowledged a climate emergency – but Anthony Albanese says that won’t affect fossil fuel extraction.

  • Andrew Tillett
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare greets Anthony Albanese at the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji.

Albanese ‘confident’ China won’t build a base in Solomon Islands

Anthony Albanese had a constructive first meeting Solomons Island leader Manasseh Sogavare.

  • Andrew Tillett
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s greeting to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese: “How about a hug?”

PM promises relations with Solomons will be ‘better’ under him

Anthony Albanese says a lack of Australian leadership opened the door to China in the Pacific ahead of his first meeting with Solomon Islands leader Manasseh Sogavare.

  • Andrew Tillett
Penny Wong.

US steps up its Pacific presence to counter China

Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Fiji will contend with internal squabbling and heat on Australia over climate change issues.

  • Andrew Tillett
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Don’t be fooled by China’s wolf warriors in sheep’s clothing

Rather than a real correction, Beijing is just using a new government in Canberra to recalibrate its aggressive approach.

  • James Carouso
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to slain former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday.

Australia does not respond to China’s ‘demands’: Albanese

The prime minister says he wants a constructive relationship with Beijing, but he will put the national interest first instead of bowing to diplomatic pressure.

  • Andrew Tillett
Penny Wong and Wang Yi.

China slams Coalition as the ‘root cause’ of bad blood

In a meeting with Penny Wong, the country’s foreign minister has blamed the former government as the main reason for relations with Australia disintegrating.

  • Andrew Tillett
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have agreed to explore pathways to citizenship between the two countries.

Pacific leaders to discuss China’s security pitch

Anthony Albanese and other Pacific leaders will look at reinforcing the region’s willingness to help each other on security matters before they turn to other powers.

  • Andrew Tillett
Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Wang Yi met in Bali last Friday

China offers a first step, but hostilities remain on both sides

Despite the meeting between China and Australia’s foreign ministers in Bali, the Labor government will largely continue the approach of the Morrison government towards China - minus the more excitable rhetoric.

  • Jennifer Hewett
There were a lot of smiles and goodwill when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed reporters on Friday.

Australia must be the Pacific’s preferred security partner: Albanese

The prime minister says Australia needs ‘to pick up our game’ in the neighbouring region.

  • Andrew Tillett
Defence Minister Richard Marles will travel to the US to discuss Australia’s future procurement of nuclear-powered submarines.

AUKUS ‘visa’ needed to avoid cannibalising scientists

A new report says the defence pact offers a once-in-a-generation chance to boost Australia’s research capability, but shortcomings need to be addressed

  • Andrew Tillett
Foreign Minister Penny Wong is visiting Solomon Islands on Friday.

China should tell Russia to stop the war: Penny Wong

Foreign Minister Penny Wong says displays of restraint would bolster regional confidence in Beijing, as former PM Paul Keating meets China’s local envoy.

  • Andrew Tillett
The Communist Party of China’s 100th anniversary show was a reaffirmation of traditional faith in the power of the workers to raise the nation to glory.

Train politicians to spot pro-Beijing front groups: report

A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute warns that Chinese community groups are being cultivated to whitewash human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.

  • Andrew Tillett
Rafael Grossi.

‘Part of the future’: UN atomic energy chief backs mini reactors

Australia is an ideal market for mini nuclear reactors because of vast distances, decentralised energy networks and the need to wean itself off fossil fuels.

  • Andrew Tillett
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Emmanuel Macron.

France and Australia agree to greater mutual access to miliary bases

The two countries will revitalise defence co-operation, including talks on reciprocal access to military bases.

  • Andrew Tillett and Georgie Moore
Foreign Minister Penny Wong is among Anthony Albanese’s closest friends and confidants in parliament.

Foreign policy team is literally front and centre of this government

Scott Morrison shone the spotlight on China’s bullying. But Albanese, Wong and Marles have the temperament to build the response to it.

  • Andrew Tillett
Penny Wong gets a southeast Asia homecoming.

Penny Wong targets Asia’s missing middle

As the PM talks to NATO, Penny Wong has toured anxious middle nations of South-East Asia keen to hedge their bets with the great powers.

  • Herve Lemahieu
Australia has donated Guardian-class patrol boats to Pacific nations that have subsequently developed a series of problems.

Fury after Australia gifted Pacific nations faulty boats

Major design flaws have been identified among a fleet of patrol boats gifted to Pacific nations, including poisonous carbon monoxide being pumped onboard.

  • Andrew Tillett