Anthony Albanese was sworn in on May 23 as the 31st Australian Prime Minister. Australia’s relationship with China has taken a sharp turn for the worse in recent years. Therefore, the new government’s China policy has received much attention.

Albanese, the new Australian prime minister, has stated that his China policy will be “completely consistent” with that of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s administration.

According to Bloomberg, Albanese had outlined his position on China in a pre-election debate. He emphasized that “The Chinese Communist Party has changed, it’s more forward-leaning, it’s more aggressive.” Therefore, Albanese said Australia of course must respond.

According to Yahoo News, in a recent interview, the new prime minister stated Australia’s relationship with China “will remain a challenging one.”

Scott Morrison has slammed Albanese for being soft on China. Morrison previously said in February that “the Chinese government has picked their horse and he’s sitting right there”—a reference to Albanese.

After Morrison’s statements, a video showing Albanese trying to give a line of his speech in Mandarin at a dinner organized by an Australian Chinese trade organization in June 2018 resurfaced. The speech is to advocate deeper ties between the two nations.

Albanese denied that his administration would support China. He also accused Morrison of waging an “absurd campaign to try and divide the nation.”

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