By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
Albanese, 59, is a center-left politician who leads the Australian Labor Party, which is due to its first government in roughly a decade amid concerns about China’s regional influence.
Albanese went to Tokyo on Monday to meet the leaders of the so-called Quad nations – the United States, India, and Japan. He was sworn in with four key cabinet members, including new Foreign Minister Penny Wong, who will travel with him to Japan.
It is Australia’s first Labor government in almost a decade. The party has won 72 lower house seats, but counting continues to determine whether they can get the 76 needed to form a majority, results showed.
Albanese’s foreign policy credentials will be heated as he meets the Quad group, which aims to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
It was to meet on Tuesday following recent diplomatic tensions in the Pacific after the Solomon Islands last month signed a security pact with China.
Albanese lives in Sydney, one of the largest Australian cities, and is a Catholic, a father, and the owner of a dog named Toto. He was born in March 1963 in Darlinghurst, an eastern suburb of Sydney, to an Irish-Australian mother and an Italian father.
At the age of 12, he helped organize a rent strike that kept his mother’s public housing from being sold off to developers.
The first in his family to attend university, Albanese studied economics and became involved in student politics. At 22, he was elected president of Young Labor, working as a research officer under Bob Hawke, Labor’s longest-serving prime minister.
However, he recalled how he sometimes depended on neighbors for food when his mother could not provide for him. “It gave me a determination, each and every day, to help the people like I was, growing up, to have a better life,” Albanese explained.
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