Live from Melbourne
Thursday 14 July 8:30 PM
This week on Q+A, an international focus as the world reels from an assassination and a resignation while Australia’s focus turns firmly to China and the Pacific.
The shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a towering figure on the international stage, has sent shockwaves around the globe. World leaders have been paying tribute to the politician, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister hailed as one of the country’s most powerful post-war leaders, while Japan is in mourning and trying to determine how such a killing could have happened.
In the UK, an embattled and scandal-plagued Boris Johnson finally resigned as Conservative Party leader but will remain as PM until a successor is chosen. That process appears to be turning increasingly acrimonious, as at least 10 MPs vie for the job, with more challengers expected to emerge. Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considered a front-runner but faces strong opposition in other high-profile candidates including former Health Secretaries Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt, and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
Closer to home, China says the Coalition government was the “root cause” for the spectacular breakdown in relations between Canberra and Beijing and has issued a list of four proposals to get the relationship back on track. Foreign Minister Penny Wong met with her Chinese counterpart on Friday, the first formal meeting between the countries’ foreign ministers since September 2019. The AUKUS deal has been called a “sore point” for China, while some critics say the pact gives Australia a false sense of security. How will Australia manage the competing interests of an increasingly divided global community? Will the new government’s efforts to push back on global superpowers make an impact?
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will fly to Suva for the Pacific Islands forum, expected to focus on China’s increasingly ambitious push to expand ties with the Pacific nations. But the high-stakes meeting comes amid signs of strain within the forum, which has been rocked by the late withdrawal of Kiribati in protest over a leadership tussle in the group.
It’s been a busy few months for Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong, travelling to all corners of the globe since Labor’s election victory in May, signalling a new era in Australia’s foreign relations. How successful will they be in resetting fractured relationships? And just what role will Australia play in our region?
During Anthony Albanese’s recent trip to Europe, he met with French president Emmanuel Macron to repair the damage done over the submarine deal. In Ukraine, he visited President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and toured war-torn cities, pledging more financial support for the country’s fight against Russia. But back home, the Prime Minister has been criticised by the Opposition for spending too much time away from Australia.
Join us for this important discussion about what a new era of foreign policy means for Australia.
David Speers hosts Q+A live from Melbourne on Thursday, July 14 at 8.30pm AEST.
His Excellency Vasyl Myroshnychenko is Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia and former Advisor to the Minister of Defence of Ukraine.
Peter Khalil was elected to federal parliament in 2016 and has held the seat of Wills since. Prior to his election, Peter worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister
George Brandis was appointed Professor in the Practice of National Security at the National Security College, ANU, following his return to Australia after four years as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert is a scholar of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. In 2018 she was detained during a trip to Iran, and served more than two years of a ten-year sentence before being freed in November 2020.
Hugh White is one of Australia’s foremost experts on strategic, defence and foreign policy issues. His latest work, the Quarterly Essay Sleepwalk to War: Australia’s Unthinking Alliance with America, explores Australia’s fateful choice to back America to the hilt and oppose China.