Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is attending the Quad, after winning the election on Saturday and being sworn-in Monday.
And Chinese leader Xi Jinping played a central role in the election that was dogged by allegations of foreign interference and partly fought on issues of national security.
Souring relations: Australia’s relations with China have deteriorated under the Liberal-National coalition’s stint in government — which started at the same time as Xi’s rule.
Relations soured further in 2020 when the Australian government called for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19. China responded with sanctions against Australian exports, including beef, barley, wine, and rock lobster.
China’s reaction hardened public attitudes in Australia and pushed Canberra to lead the charge against China’s coercive actions.
Xi’s face on ads: Throughout the campaign period ahead of the election, Xi’s face was splashed across billboards, with ads claiming he backed certain candidates — which is entirely legal, since there are no laws in Australia on truth in political advertising.
Andrew Hughes, a marketing expert at the Australian National University, says Australia is known as the “Wild West” when it comes to political advertising, but the use of China in this campaign had nonetheless been remarkable.
“It’s actually more noticeable, I think, in this election than I’ve ever seen the use of a foreign government in election campaigns outside wartime,” Hughes said.
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Quoted from Various Sources
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