Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House today in their continued efforts to strengthen ties in the Pacific. Albanese comes at the head of his recent announcement of a November visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Following an initial meeting and a joint press conference, the leaders will attend a state dinner in the evening.
While a visit between US and China’s leaders is still unknown, officials told reporters on Monday that the US is expecting a visit from China’s “top diplomat” Wang Yilater later this week. The result of which will hopefully continue the work toward arranging that awaited meeting between the country’s two leaders.
Albanese is the fourth foreign leader to be a part of a state dinner during the Biden administration and the ninth meeting between the two leaders since Albanese took office in 2022, according to the administration’s senior director for East Asia and Oceania, Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper.
President Biden was previously scheduled to visit the Australian PM in May but was forced to halt the visitation due to the Debt ceiling fiasco at the time. Additionally, Biden was forced to scrap visitations with Australia, the Quad, and a stopover in Papa New Guinea.
“State visits are a big deal,” said Charles Edel, a senior adviser and Australia chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “They’re filled with plenty of pomp and circumstance, but they also serve as an opportunity to take stock of critical relationships and push them further forward.”
Both leaders plan to discuss support for Ukraine and their standing with Israel in their war with Hamas. Additionally, discussions on cybersecurity and the nuclear-powered submarines defense arrangement known as AUKUS, are to be expected.