Anthony Albanese will aim to shore up support for regional security and economic ties when he meets world leaders at the G20 summit in New Delhi.
The prime minister landed in India on Sept. 8 night ahead of the two-day summit being hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As well as meeting with Mr. Modi, the prime minister will hold bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and meet leaders from Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey.
Mr. Albanese said he hoped to advance talks on security within the Indo-Pacific, amid rising tensions in the region.
“We want to see security, stability and peace in the region. The way to do that is to make sure that we engage in a constructive way,” Mr. Albanese told reporters in Manila before departing for the summit.
“I’m very pleased that the relationships that we’ve been able to build over a short period of time in the region has seen a significant shift.”
While tensions in the Indo-Pacific has centred on Chinese territorial claims, Chinese leader Xi Jinping won’t attend the summit.
Instead, Beijing’s Premier Li Qiang will represent China, with Mr. Albanese having already held one-on-one talks with the country’s second-in-command on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Jakarta on Sept. 7.
Mr. Albanese said despite the government aiming for closer defence and security ties with nearby Asian nations who had issues with China, he would still seek to boost links with Australia’s largest trading partner.
“We have positive relations, we are trying to develop our relationships throughout the entire region,” Mr. Albanese said.
“With regard to China, we’ll cooperate where we can, we’ll disagree where we must.”
Following the meeting with Mr. Li, the prime minister accepted an invitation from China to visit Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this year.
This year’s G20 summit is also likely to see debate on the wording of the leaders’ final statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Russia also present at the summit.
President Vladimir Putin will skip the annual summit this year in the wake of the 2022 Ukraine invasion, with the country’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to take his place.
The visit to New Delhi is the final stop in Mr. Albanese’s week-long diplomatic trip to Asia, following stops in Jakarta for the ASEAN summit and Manila for bilateral talks with Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.