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Anthony Albanese is now somewhere above Asia, flying back to Australia after sharing the world stage with three of the most powerful men on the planet.

Just hours after he was sworn in on Monday, Albanese was hustling to jump on a plane for Tokyo.

It was a case of in off the deep end at the Quad summit for Australia’s freshly minted 31st prime minister, with Albanese rubbing shoulders and talking regional security, China, climate change and economics with the leaders of US, Japan and India.

US President Joe Biden greets Anthony Albanese with a hand on his shoulder and a warm smile.
US President Joe Biden greets Anthony Albanese with a hand on his shoulder and a warm smile. (SMH / Alex Ellinghausen)

Albanese will no doubt be delighted by the timing of all this.

Being seen alongside US President Joe Biden, who he shared several jokes with, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida immediately underlines his leadership credentials.

The images coming out of Tokyo look good to Australians at home, curious to see how their new prime minister handled himself on his first diplomatic mission abroad.

There’s Biden with a hand on his shoulder, smiling warmly and essentially welcoming him into the fold.

And there’s Biden, mock walking out of a meeting with Albanese, who bursts into laughter with others in the room.

But importantly, judging by Albanese’s comments on the tarmac this morning before he boarded his plane, it seemed a productive and fruitful Quad for the new PM.

Albanese said he was “particularly warmed” by the reception he received at bilateral meetings with each leader.

Let’s take a look at the key issues discussed and any wins for Albanese and Australia.

Anthony Albanese walks with US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the host of the 2022 Quad summit.
Anthony Albanese walks with US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the host of the 2022 Quad summit. (AP)
Albanese said leaders spoke about Russia’s “unilateral illegal, immoral aggression” against Ukraine.

The Quad also spoke about the importance of “reaching out” to other countries in the region, in the wake of China’s advances in a Pacific region weakened through Western diplomatic neglect in recent years.

China’s actions in the East and South China Seas were flagged, including militarisation of disputed areas, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia.

North Korea’s “destabilising” ballistic missile development and launches were condemned.

Smoke pours from the steelworks and coal loading facility in Port Kembla, NSW.
Smoke pours from the steelworks and coal loading facility in Port Kembla. (Getty / Brook Mitchell)

Albanese mentioned action on climate repeatedly while on the tarmac this morning.

He described talks with Biden about “improving our engagement and our mutual position with regard to climate change and the need for global action”.

Albanese was keen to emphasise he’d taken a new message to the world.

“There are many consistencies in Australia’s national security positions, but there are some differences with the former Australian government, particularly when it comes to climate change,” he said.

“The new government that I lead, its position was welcomed by the leaders of the United States, Japan, and India.”

Albanese revealed Modi has invited him to India and that the pair discussed how Australia could deepen educational ties with the world’s second most populous nation.

“We talked about the potential for education exchange,” Albanese said, describing a strategy of Australian universities “co-locating” in India.

This, Albanese said, would allow Indian students to study at Australian universities while remaining in India, with options to complete half of their degree in Australia.

A Chinese military H-6K bomber conducts a training exercises above the South China Sea.
A Chinese military H-6K bomber conducts a training exercises above the South China Sea. (AP)
Other topics included boosting coronavirus vaccination production and improving regional access to jabs, working more closely on space initiatives, how to protect the region – particularly supply lines – from cyberattacks, illegal fishing in the Pacific and how to better respond to natural and humanitarian disasters.

Australia will host next year’s Quad meeting.

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