Partner of detained Australian journalist Cheng Lei hopeful of ‘compassionate and speedy resolution’

The Australian journalist detained in China, Cheng Lei, is trying to remain positive despite her “very difficult situation” and is grateful for messages of encouragement from supporters, her partner has said. Cheng’s partner, Nick Coyle, said it was positive that the Australian prime minister, the foreign minister and the deputy prime minister had all raised her case in recent talks with their Chinese counterparts. “We hope that this positive dialogue can lead towards a compassionate and speedy resolution to the current situation,” he told Guardian Australia. Asked whether he was…

Uyghurs urge Albanese government not to ignore human rights amid diplomatic thaw with China

Uyghur community members are urging the Albanese government not to sideline human rights in Australia’s diplomatic reset with China – and are disappointed to have failed to secure a meeting with the foreign minister, Penny Wong. The Germany-based president of the World Uyghur Congress, Dolkun Isa, is among a delegation that has visited Canberra this week for meetings with about 30 politicians from all sides of politics, including the opposition leader, Peter Dutton. The delegation has urged Australia to join the US and several European countries in declaring that genocide…

China human rights activist Drew Pavlou escorted from Parliament House, but federal police won’t say why

Liberal senator James Paterson said he was “concerned” that activist Drew Pavlou was escorted from Parliament House by federal police yesterday after the pair had met, but the AFP and the parliament won’t say why he was asked to leave the building. Police officers told Pavlou he was considered an “active protester”, while sitting in a public cafe in Parliament House drinking a coffee, and that “higher ups” had said they wanted him to leave the building. “An Australian federal police team interrupted me while I was quietly having lunch…

Chinese ambassador would ‘love’ to see Anthony Albanese meet Xi Jinping without preconditions

China’s ambassador to Australia has suggested the leaders of the two countries might meet without “preconditions” in remarks that could help further thaw relations. Xiao Qian on Tuesday night also offered to help detained Australian journalist Cheng Lei contact her family. In August, Xiao told the National Press Club that after a “good start” with the newly elected Albanese government “there is an opportunity for a possible reset of the relationship” between China and Australia. Since Labor’s election in May, the defence minister, Richard Marles, and the foreign minister, Penny…

Pat Conroy on Labor’s engagement with our Pacific neighbours

Sarah Martin, Guardian Australia’s chief political correspondent, talks to the minister for international development and the Pacific, who is newly returned from a visit to Solomon Islands. Together they discuss the climate crisis, democracy and China’s growing presence in the region How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know The Guardian

Chinese ambassador to Australia says Beijing will use ‘all necessary means’ for Taiwan ‘unification’

China’s ambassador to Australia has warned Beijing is prepared to use “all necessary means” to prevent Taiwan from being independent, saying there can be “no compromise” on the “one China” policy. Xiao Qian on Wednesday repeatedly blamed the US for the recent escalation in tensions. China’s decision to launch ballistic missiles in live-fire exercises in response to speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “legitimate and justified”, he told the National Press Club in Canberra. Xiao said after a “good start” with the newly elected Albanese government, “there is an…

‘Abusing China’s restraint’: Beijing accuses Australia of provocation at sea

China has accused Australia of provocation in the South China Sea and said Australia – along with the United States and Canada – must “refrain from abusing China’s restraint”. Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin was responding to a question about recent military encounters in the South China Sea, including reports in Politico that a Chinese fighter jet had an “unsafe” and “unprofessional” interaction with an American C-130 aircraft. Politico reported that the interaction came amid more aggressive military actions by Chinese pilots involving Australian and Canadian planes. Just after the…

‘We are family’: Anthony Albanese meets Solomon Islands PM amid tension over China deal

Anthony Albanese has met with the Solomon Islands prime minister in Suva to discuss their common interests of climate change and regional security issues, despite recent tensions between the two nations over China. It is the first time that Albanese has met Manasseh Sogavare. The relationship between the countries has become increasingly tense since the signing of the controversial security pact with China earlier this year, but ahead of the meeting Albanese reiterated the importance of the relationship and said it “will be even better after this afternoon”. The meeting…

Australia sees climate crisis as a national security issue, defence minister tells US

Australia’s defence minister, Richard Marles, has warned of the use of “force or coercion” in the South China Sea and “intensification of major power competition”, references to China’s rising power in the Indo-Pacific. Marles made the comments in a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies on his visit to the US, committing Australia to closer cooperation with the US, higher defence spending and to address the climate crisis in part as a national security issue. It coincided with a separate announcement that the Australian and US governments…

Australia news live updates: at least 77 Covid deaths; Albanese pays tribute to Abe; NSW counts cost of floods

<gu-island name="KeyEventsCarousel" deferuntil="visible" props="{"keyEvents":[{"id":"62c8ffa48f08599e90424c44","elements":[{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":" The first case of Hendra virus in Queensland since 2017 has been detected in an unvaccinated horse in Mackay, Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed. ","elementId":"af148f6a-c8d8-42de-8ac3-04eefcd6892e"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":" The positive test result was confirmed yesterday and the horse has been euthanised after it “rapidly deteriorated”, the agency said. ","elementId":"1bb89386-a31b-47c0-8ac9-d5689f515e0d"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":" Biosecurity officers are trying contain any potential outbreak, as well as working with public health officials to see if any humans had contact with the infected animal. ","elementId":"6e6accc0-75c5-4dd8-9507-a0d8a60c4908"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":" Biosecurity Queensland’s chief veterinary officer, Dr Allison Crook, said other animals on the…