The big American cheese head Down Under
It’s AUSMIN time… If that diplomatic acronym isn’t enough to whet your appetite – what if we told you it’s the forum for our Foreign and Defence ministers to talk serious turkey with their US counterparts? Anyhoo… This year there’s plenty to crack on with: the AUKUS nuclear subs deal needs a lot more ironing out (paywall), and China’s creeping influence in the Pacific is also a super hot topic. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stopped off in Tonga and New Zealand en route to Brisvegas, while Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been pressing the flesh in Papua New Guinea. The key readout? The US and Oz don’t want other Pacific nations doing security deals like the one the Solomon Islands recently inked with Beijing. And if we’re lucky, we might also get some deets on PM Anthony Albanese’s trip to Washington later in the year…
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