Monday, 11 September 2023
Questions without Notice
ASEAN-Australia Summit, East Asia Summit
I'll take the interjection, and I'm happy to talk about Myanmar but, right now, it's an important bilateral relationship, the Philippines, and one I hope there's bipartisan support for. This was first bilateral visit by an Australian Prime Minister in 20 years. That is a clear statement of our government's intention and priorities. Labor has always understood that Australia needs to work with the countries of South-East Asia to achieve our security interests in a stable region where sovereignty is respected. It is less known about former Prime Minister Whitlam's visit to China that, on the same trip in 1971, he also visited Japan and the Philippines. Australia and the Philippines have common strategic and economic interests and there is more we can do together. While in Manila, the Prime Minister announced the elevation of our relationship to a strategic partnership. This means we will walk even more closely with the Philippines to contribute to strategic balance and to shape the region we want.