For seven decades the United States and Australia have worked together as allies. At the 33rd Australia-U.S. Ministerial Conference, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Our relationship has never been stronger or more important for us and, I would argue, for the world.”
At a press briefing with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles, Secretary Blinken said that “chief” among the leaders’ discussion was their commitment to “a free, open, secure, prosperous, resilient, and connected Indo-Pacific:”
“A region where countries are free to chart their own path and to choose their own partners – where issues are dealt with openly, transparently; rules are decided together; they’re applied fairly; goods, ideas, and people can flow lawfully and freely.”
To advance that goal, the U.S. and Australia are working not only with one another, but also through revitalized and new coalitions; for example, with India and Japan in the QUAD; with the United Kingdom in AUKUS; and with elevated engagement with the Pacific Islands Forum. The work of these partnerships is manifold, including connecting more people to the Internet and telecommunications infrastructure; enhancing maritime domain awareness; promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth; and making communities more resilient to climate change.
“At the same time,” said Secretary Blinken, “our two countries are defending the international rules-based order:”
“We’re doing that in part by engaging China, but also, as necessary, opposing its efforts to disrupt freedom of navigation and overflight in the South and East China Seas, to upend the status quo that has preserved peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, to pressure countries through economic coercion or threats to their citizens.”
The United States and Australia are also united in supporting Ukraine against Russia’s brutal war of aggression. “Australia’s assistance continues to be critical to the fight for Ukraine’s sovereignty, for its territorial integrity, for its future,” said Secretary Blinken.
Quoting President Joe Biden, Secretary Blinken said the United States “has no closer or more reliable ally than Australia. Today,” he declared, “builds on our successful past and guides our work together to build a stronger, more secure and more peaceful world for everyone.”