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Trump welcomes Australia's PM, cementing strong trade, security ties

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Trump welcomes Australia's PM, cementing strong trade, security ties

By Alexandra Alper and Steve Holland

 

2019-09-20T145543Z_1_LYNXMPEF8J1IK_RTROPTP_4_USA-AUSTRALIA.JPG

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand with Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jenny Morrison on the Truman Balcony during an official arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Australia's prime minister on Friday for only the second state visit of his administration, signalling the close bond between the two allies as Washington takes on Beijing and Tehran.

 

Trump and Scott Morrison are expected to discuss security and trade, as China's increasing assertiveness, especially in the energy-rich South China Sea, has raised concerns within the region and the United States.

 

The leaders are also set to release a plan on Friday aimed at securing the supply of rare earth minerals, as concerns grow that China, the world's largest processor and producer of the minerals, could cut off shipments of the prized commodities.

 

Days before the visit, a sign draped across the Australian Embassy in Washington proclaimed "100 years of mateship" between the two countries. On Friday, Trump feted Morrison's arrival at the White House's South Lawn with a 19-gun salute and U.S. Marine Band performances of each nation's national anthems.

 

"It's highly symbolic of where the relationship sits at the moment," said Patrick Buchan, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noting that Morrison's state visit was second only to French President Emmanuel Macron's last year.

 

"Australia played a very smart game with Trump," he added, noting the country had avoiding directly criticizing him, unlike some European counterparts.

 

Trump got off to a smooth start with Morrison in May, congratulating him on his surprise election victory in a tweet noting there were "no greater friends" than the United States and Australia.

 

The two also met on the sidelines of the G20 in June, cementing warm ties that Trump did not enjoy with Morrison's predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull. Trump berated Turnbull in February 2017 over a bilateral refugee agreement before abruptly ending their telephone conversation.

 

Australia also agreed last month to join a coalition to protect oil tankers and cargo ships from threats posed by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz after a series of attacks there that Washington has blamed on Tehran.

 

Australia has also banned China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's top provider of telecoms equipment, from its 5G network, something the Trump administration has struggled to persuade other allies to do. The United States says Huawei’s ties to Beijing make the network equipment it sells to telecoms firms a security risk.

 

Australian intelligence concluded China was responsible for a cyberattack on Australia's parliament and its three largest political parties, Reuters reported on Monday.

 

Following an arrival ceremony, bilateral meetings, and a joint news conference, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host a luncheon for Morrison to be followed by a state dinner at the White House.

 

SECURITY AND TRADE

 

During a visit to Sydney last month by Pompeo and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the United States and Australia pledged to strengthen opposition to Chinese activities in the Pacific.

 

China has unnerved the region and angered the United States by installing military equipment and other facilities on artificial islands it has made in the disputed South China Sea.

 

The United States and its Western allies also worry that China is using foreign aid to secure greater influence over small Pacific countries that control vast swath of resource-rich ocean.

 

Australia, traditionally the major power in the South Pacific, has promised up to A$3 billion ($2 billion) in grants and loans to counter what Washington describes as China's "payday loan diplomacy."

 

But Morrison has pressed Trump to end his trade war with China, which has roiled markets and hammered global growth.

 

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney and Steve Orlofsky)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-09-21

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Two like minded people, neither with a concise, logical narrative for governing forward and both opposed to supporting the less fortunate in society.

 

I trump appears to have taking pointing lessons, the man never looks happy.

 

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16 minutes ago, mfd101 said:

Nonsense. Morrison just plays along in appearance only, preserving Australia's national interests by keeping the US President happy. But the two could scarcely be more different in outlook, background, culture etc. Morrison carefully crafts his words in an 'Almost quite a lot of the way with USA' kind of way, while carefully NOT causing more offence to Beijing that absolutely necessary.

 

So far, since he became PM last year, he's done a pretty good job, though he's more a careful manager than an inspirational leader.

Come on.  Name one Australian polly who hasn't bent over in front of these guys.

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There must be some Trump business opportunities in OZ, so as the stable genius would say "we'll see what happens"

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16 hours ago, car720 said:

Come on.  Name one Australian polly who hasn't bent over in front of these guys.

Not sure who did the bending but I do recall a segment for the Chasers on the radio when then PM John Howard was to meet Bush Junior about the Iraqi war business.

It went something like this 'Howard prefers pullout while Bush prefers condoms' made my day.

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1 hour ago, emptypockets said:

Most vulnerable....how I hate that term when they should be using the word bludger. Typical Labor/Green left wing nonsense.

Everyone in Australia has access to the same amenities from birth - world class education and medical care etc etc.

Some get off their butts and make something of themselves, others sit on their <deleted> and cry 'I'm vulnerable' and I'm not getting the support I need.

The NDIS along with the NBN is a curse bestowed by those two idiots Gillard and Rudd on the taxpayers of Australia and their children and their children's children. Neither were or are needed and will be an ongoing cost for decades and deliver nothing in real terms except to provide employment for the otherwise unemployable army of public servants who administer this disaster.

In terms of Morrisons 'miracle election win', it was only a miracle for Keating's true believers - no miracle for any thinking person. Did anyone really think Labor would in with Bill Shorten in charge.5555 An absolute clown, liar and hypocrite.

 

Time for another Singha.

So people with disabilities, aged persons and chronic health problems are bludgers 

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Morrison had this giddy smile on his face the entire time. He looked like he was enjoying himself and felt quite honored to be allowed to be near Trump's sphere of greatness. There is a true man crush going on.

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40 minutes ago, RJRS1301 said:

So people with disabilities, aged persons and chronic health problems are bludgers 

No, I never said that at all. But thanks for the oh so predictable greenie/left wing reply.

 

People with disabilities (and I mean genuine disabilities, not I've got a crook back bludgers, have always been looked after, for decades). I'm getting a bit <deleted> off though with the newly retired pensioners have been on one type of support or another all their lives now claiming that we are doing nothing for the old people. I know, personally, of three generations of single mums who have never, ever worked in their lives but have complained constantly how they do not get the 'support they need'. I'm sick of it!

My ex father had a small pommy pension. John Howard gave him a thousand bucks as he was determined to be a self funded retiree....spare me.

 

I don't have a problem with people in genuine need wanting my tax money to help them but it has gone crazy in Australia. My daughter is paying over 120 dollars a day in child care…..all subsidised by the taxpayer (me)...while she works!!! It's ridiculous. Her mum, my wife at the time charged 10 bucks a day for what  was essentially babysitting, family day-care. No different to the care her kid gets now. Except instead of four kids to look after the day-care has 40 kids, plus a ticketed first aider and an early childhood diploma or degree holding babysitter.

Yet the same kid can go to granny two days a week for free, get better personal care and interaction.

 

And the single mums can get everything I've mentioned basically for free while they hit the pokies in the local pub.

 

Australia is pretty well stuffed.

 

The land of institutionalised bludgers at the moment.

 

Poor man my country.

 

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20 hours ago, car720 said:

Come on.  Name one Australian polly who hasn't bent over in front of these guys.

Gough whittled and that is why he was overthrown. It was a lesson for all Australian Prime Ministers, tow the U.S line or else.

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