Azerbaijan was a slow burner. After marshals ran out of red flags in qualifying, the race saw Charles Leclerc go backwards but then not much happened. Luckily, Pirelli intervened, and then all hell broke loose. And in the end, nothing changed in the championship. Cheeka, Phill and Terry drink a bit and talk about Verstappen and Stroll’s smashes, Hamilton’s magic dance and then get distracted by anything and everything.
Monaco! Big pile of shite, but at least the cars look nice, especially the McLarens. Cheeka, Phill and Terry reflect on the usual Monte Carlo snoozefest but concede that the results were interesting. They also talk about Leclerc crashing deliberately, Bottas’s stripped nut and all the regular tangents.
He aimed to sign a sweeping regional deal to entrench Beijing’s influence after reaching a security agreement with the Solomon Islands that may allow naval ships to dock some 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from Australia’s coast
(Bloomberg) — Penny Wong has already made history as both the first Asian-born and openly gay woman to become Australia’s top diplomat. Now she’s quickly confronting the nation’s most difficult geopolitical challenge in decades.
Within days of being sworn in on May 23, Wong — born to a Chinese Malaysian father — rushed to Fiji to counter a rare trip to nearby Pacific island countries by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
But her remarks also sowed the seeds for a potential clash ahead: The Communist Party-run Global Times tabloid said Wong’s statements were emblematic of Australia’s “double standards, arrogant colonialism and imperialism
A trained lawyer, the 53-year-old Wong said Australian aid wouldn’t come “with strings attached, nor impose unsustainable financial burdens” — a pointed reference to China’s agreements with developing countries around the world. She later said the security of Pacific island nations “needed to be determined by the region” and is taking a second trip, this time to Tonga and Samoa on Wednesday.
Wong’s defiant tone contrasted with China’s measured official stance since her appointment, Top Sites dating app as Beijing seeks to reset relations with Australia following the election of left-leaning Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. ”
The appointment of a foreign minister who “demonstrates the multiculturalism of Australia” could be concerning for Beijing, especially in Wong’s advocacy for Chinese Australians who are currently imprisoned in China, according to Natasha Kassam, director of the Foreign Policy program at Sydney’s Lowy Institute.
Wong has already begun to advocate on behalf of Australian Chinese writer Yang Jun, who has been detained in China for more than three years. Another Australian, Cheng Lei, has been detained since 2020 and is awaiting a verdict on national security charges after a trial in March that was held in secret.
“There’s an argument to be made that she could be even more effective in that context,” Kassam said, referring to Wong.
Already frosty relations between Beijing and Canberra deteriorated in after former leader Scott Morrison endorsed an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. That spat had escalated into tariffs on Australian exports and Canberra’s diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
Premier Li Keqiang congratulated Albanese after his election win but the new leader has been muted in his response. Both Wong and Albanese have said it was up to China to start things off by removing restrictions on Australian goods.
Richard McGregor, senior fellow for East Asia at Lowy, said Beijing shouldn’t expect a new dawn in relations with Canberra under Albanese.
“It’s not so much a reset as putting a floor under the relationship, rescue it from free fall and turn down the level of public acrimony,” McGregor said. “But competition is the name of the game. We’re not going back to what it was.”