Anthony Albanese, who is set to become the next prime minister of Australia after a close-fought election, faces major challenges going into office. From accelerating inflation to dealing with China, here’s how he might tackle these issues.
China and Other Powers
Albanese’s Labor Party pivoted to take a tougher stance toward China in the lead-up to the election. “The Chinese Communist Party has changed, it’s more forward-leaning, it’s more aggressive,” he said at a leaders’ debate on May 8. “That means that Australia of course must respond.” He has also declined to say whether he would be prepared to take a phone call from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Still, there are less hawkish voices in his party who have called for dialogue with Australia’s largest trading partner on issues like climate change. Most immediately, Albanese heads to a meeting of the Quad — one of Australia’s main security partnerships — in Tokyo on May 24, where his commitment to work with key allies including India, Japan and the US to counter China’s influence will be watched.