Prime Minister Anthony Albanese used his post-Quad speech to outline plans to provide both continuity and change from the previous Morrison government.
“The Australian Government has changed, but this was an opportunity to tell our Quad partners the United States, Japan and India that the Government’s commitment to Quad has not changed,” Albanese said.
The new prime minister followed the relatively recent trend of naming China directly rather than making oblique references to “external influence” and “freedom of navigation”.
It is probably as much a riposte to national election claims that Labor would be too soft on China, as it is a show of defiance to Beijing.
But Albanese was not all about continuity – emphasizing the new government’s “altered stance” on climate action.
“It was welcomed by these three Quad nations, and they welcomed it because it will reinforce what is a significant issue in the Indo-Pacific,” Albanese said.
“I agree that this is a national security issue.”
He confirmed Solomon Islands’ security deal with China had been discussed.