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Episode 76: The G7 Summit

19 Jun 2021
By Dr Darren Lim and Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA
 Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a bilateral meeting with Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street, sourced from Flickr,

Also discussed in this episode: Scott Morrison’s Perth speech; Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s advice on improving Australia’s relations with China; the free trade agreement with the UK; and Australia’s relationship with France. 

This week’s episode tracks PM Scott Morrison’s recent travels. We begin in Perth prior to his leaving the country with what Allan considers to be a major foreign policy speech. Why? Where Allan sees a definite break from decades of Australian foreign policy, Darren sees a speech responding to shifting political winds, especially with a new occupant in the White House.

From Perth the PM flew to Singapore to meet with his counterpart PM Lee Hsien Loong. Lee offered some advice to Australia in its management of relations with China, which Allan wonders might signal a growing gap between Australia and Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Darren tries to reconcile Lee’s advice with comments made that same week by Defence Minister Peter Dutton.

The PM then arrived in the UK for the G7 summit. Was it important that he was invited? And what did Allan and Darren make of the communique? What is most interesting perhaps is the apparent return to prominence of the G7, which had for more than a decade taken a backseat to the G20. As Allan says, this is likely because of who is not at the meeting, rather than who is. Scott Morrison then wrapped up his trip with the announcement of a free trade agreement with the UK (did it deliver much?) and getting solid support from President Macron in his bilateral with the French leader.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

We thank AIIA intern Dominique Yap for her help audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Scott Morrison, “Address to the Perth USAsia Centre”, Perth, 9 June 2021:

Daniel Hurst, “Peter Dutton flags more US troops on Australian soil citing potential China conflict”, The Guardian, 10 June 2021:

Scott Morrison and Lee Hsien Loong, Press Conference Transcript, The Istana, Singapore, 11 June 2021:

2021 G7 Leaders’ communiqué: Our shared agenda for global action to build back better, 13 June 2021:

Fact Sheet: President Biden and G7 Leaders Launch Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership, The White House, 12 June 2021:

“G7 summit: China says small groups do not rule the world”, BBC News, 13 June 2021:

Jeff Wilson (@JDWilson08), twitter thread on the Australia-UK free trade agreement, 16 June 2021:

Andrew Tillett, “UK trade deal ‘rights a historic wrong’”, Australian Financial Review, 16 June 2021:

Martin Wolf, “The US should spurn the false promise of protectionism”, Financial Times, 15 June 2021:

“French President Emmanuel Macron backs Australia amid trade conflict with China”, ABC News, 16 June 2021:

“Ninth Japan-Australia 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations”, 9 June 2021:

Peter Dutton, “Address to Australian Strategic Policy Institute Conference, Canberra”, 10 June 2021:

Making Sense podcast, “Are we alone in the universe? A conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson”, Episode #252, 10 June 2021:

“Jon Stewart On Vaccine Science And The Wuhan Lab Theory”, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 15 June 2021:

“‘They Are Going To Kill Us All’ – Jon Stewart Declares His Love For Scientists” (video) The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 15 June 2021:

Thomas Wright, “Joe Biden worries that China might win”, The Atlantic, 9 June 2021:

Benjamin Herscovitch, “Beijing to Canberra and Back” (newsletter):