Governments, academics and others celebrate the defeat of the Morrison government, as reported by Alan Austin.
THE WATCHING WORLD seems to have breathed a heavy sigh of relief when Australian voters kicked out the Coalition. The prevailing reaction is hope for a reset in external relations and for Australia to resume its former role as a good global citizen.
Last Tuesday in Tokyo, US President Joe Biden warmly congratulated new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. He even knew her name.
Observers in China have obviously been watching Australia closely. Sina Finance has squarely refuted one of Scott Morrison’s key claims with this analysis from Guangdong University researcher Tang Kai on Albanese:
‘Albanian has [served] as Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. It can be said that Albanese has a rich administrative experience.
Sina Finance added that the main issues for voters were people’s livelihoods and climate change.
The China Daily welcomed this change, titled his report ‘Australia wins a chance to mend relations with China’.
The article quoted Premier Li Keqiang’s message to Albanese last Monday saying China was “ready to work with the Australian side to review the past, face the future and uphold the principles of mutual respect and benefit”.
He noted that relations between Canberra and Beijing had deteriorated under Morrison whose “The Cold War rhetoric of recent years has had a negative impact on Chinese Australians”.
The thaw in Sino-Australian relations was also welcomed by Jakarta Post, India time and that of China ECNS news.
The Pacific Islands celebrate
The star of solomon happily reported Morrison’s departure, quoting Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare as saying:
“Albanese’s election victory means that the Australian people have embraced the vision, policy frameworks and direction they have for Australia and more broadly in relation to Australia’s neighbours…”
The New Zealand Herald reports an immediate easing of tensions between Australia and New Zealand.
The fiji times welcomed the visit of new Foreign Secretary Penny Wong with several positive reports, including “Australia is keen to listen to Pacific partners” and “$525 million in overseas development assistance from Australia to the Pacific”.
Frank sentiments of France
Arguably the Coalition’s most disastrous foreign affairs failure – which cost Australia its global reputation as well as five billion dollars – was its duplicity over the canceled French submarine contract last year.
The English edition of The Guardian pointed out in his report entitled, “France has ‘high hopes’ of rebuilding relations with Australia after the ‘deceptive’ behavior of the Coalition”.
In France, Point directed his analysis “Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison ousted from office”. He said the main reason was inaction on climate change – climate change.
Point quoted outgoing Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who happily celebrated the defeat by Scott Morrison:
” The taken procedures [by Morrison] were brutal and cynical and I would say showed notorious incompetence – notorious incompetence.
Le Figaro hailed the demise of the Coalition with an even more scathing comment from the French Foreign Minister:
‘Usually not very expansive, Jean-Yves Le Drian then fired red bullets at the offenders [the departing Morrison Government] in very undiplomatic and rather rare terms. “Lies”, “duplicity”, “contempt”… He had accused them of having hidden their negotiations for months, denounced a “major breach of trust” between NATO allies…’
Climate action hailed around the world
Comments claiming that the Coalition has lost due to climate policy failures have appeared in several German news outlets, including Back, daily news and Time.
The latter reports:
“For years, the country has suffered from floods, droughts, bushfires, coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and tree dieback in the rainforests. Australia has one of the highest CO rates2 emissions per capita and is one of the largest exporters of coal… Morrison, who was elected, has always been a supporter of the coal industry. Many members of his party are considered climate change deniers.
Other publications highlighting the climate included The New York Times, The Washington Post, The star in Malaysia, Slovakia Pravda, The Belfast Telegraphindonesia Compass and that of Spain euro news.
Several outlets have warmed up the old history of the Albanian family, including The British goalkeeper:
‘The student activist and political bomb-thrower of the Socialist Labor left who said he liked ‘fighting Tories’, is reborn as a centrist ‘statesman’ leader backing moderation on climate and taxation. A boy who lived with his single mother…’
based in the United States The diplomat skewered the losing prime minister:
“Galvanizing all of these grievances, deeply unpopular Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who repeatedly dodged responsibility, stubbornly refused to reform and assumed a clownish persona that he hoped would retain his electoral appeal.
Positive evaluations of the Coalition
The Israel time expressed his support for the outgoing Prime Minister and his caution towards the newcomer:
“Morrison, who leads the Liberal Party, was considered a good friend of Israel, leading one of the few governments to somewhat follow former US President Donald Trump’s lead on Jerusalem…Albanese has described in the past as “a strong advocate of justice for the Palestinians” and said he was “very critical of many of Israel’s policies”.
The Australian Associated Press reports have been widely distributed, including in the United States, Canada and India.
Unsurprisingly, given that the Coalition paid a lot of money to this agency something for something money, his obituary was hagiographic:
“Morrison, after praising Albanese, adopted a proud and defiant tone in defending his record and that of his government, focusing on the economy, his administration’s work to keep refugees from arriving in the country by boat and on strengthening the nation’s defences.”
The Independent in Ireland focused on the challenges facing the new Labor government:
“Labour has promised more financial aid and a strong social safety net as Australia grapples with the highest inflation since 2001 and soaring housing prices.
The Party also plans to raise minimum wages and on the foreign policy front it has proposed establishing a Pacific Defense School to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence…’
Broadly optimistic assessments of Australia’s future presented in The temperature from London, Japan today, SVT News in Sweden, The voice in Chile, Argmedios in Argentina and The confidential in Spain.
We will soon see if their hopes come true.
Alan Austin is an Australian freelance columnist and freelance journalist. You can follow him on Twitter @alanaustin001.
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