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Caroline Kennedy, a former ambassador to Japan, will become the next American ambassador to Australia by US Senate

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Caroline Kennedy a former ambassador to Japan will become the next American ambassador to Australia by US Senate

The US Senate has affirmed Caroline Kennedy, a former ambassador to Japan and daughter of the late President John F Kennedy, as the US ambassador to Australia, a significant partner to America.

Caroline Kennedy, 64, is an author and lawyer. Her dad was the 35th US president, who served from 1961 until he died in 1963. She previously served as US ambassador to Japan from 2013-to 2017 under former president Barack Obama. Kennedy succeeds Arthur Culvahouse, who left the position in mid-2021 when former Republican President Donald Trump left office.

The US Senate said on Thursday she will go to Canberra as Australia’s ties with Washington reinforce because of China’s growing power and progressively emphatic way of behaving in Asia and then some. Like Japan, Australia is a member of the so-called Quad grouping, alongside the US and India, which has been extending cooperation even with China’s rise.

Ms. Caroline Kennedy has said she is focused on taking a harder position against China’s compulsion in the Indo-Pacific and working intimately with Australia on reinforcing attaches with the Solomon Islands, which has signed a security deal with Beijing.

Her affirmation was approved by what’s known as a voice vote, and that implies there was no requirement for an official vote in the chamber, reflecting her help among the two Republicans and Democrats.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Twitter invited Ms. Caroline Kennedy’s affirmation and said Australia anticipates developing participation with the United States.

Caroline Kennedy was one of a handful of nominees approved by voice vote on Thursday, alongside Marc Nathanson to be ambassador to Norway, John Nkengasong to be an ambassador on the loose to battle HIV-AIDS globally, MaryKay Loss Carlson as ambassador to the Philippines, and Philip Goldberg as ambassador to South Korea.

Caroline Kennedy’s affirmation comes amid China’s strains

Ms. Kennedy’s affirmation comes weeks after the Solomon Islands signed a security pact with China, amid heightened fears in Australia and the US that the deal could be used to extend China’s military presence in the Pacific.

Under questioning from US legislators before her affirmation, Ms. Caroline Kennedy praised efforts to re-open the US consulate in Honiara, saying it “can’t come soon enough”.

“If confirmed, I would work very hard with Australia [on this],” she said in February.

“Australia has a very active embassy in every Pacific Island nation, and it’s been a historic area of US engagement as well.”

The new ambassador will play a large role in working on the AUKUS relationship and help Australia obtain and keep up with nuclear-powered submarines.

She might need to fight with clashing perspectives between the Biden administration and the Australian government over activity on climate change.

“The more we can learn about and learn how to combat [climate change] and move towards a clean energy transition and reduce the impact of climate change, the faster we can do that — if confirmed, I’d be eager to work on that,” she told senators.

Ms. Caroline Kennedy was one of a handful of nominees approved by voice vote on Thursday.

Philip Goldberg was named as US diplomat to South Korea. Mr. Goldberg is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and has been serving as US ambassador to Colombia.

Senator Jon Ossoff said shortly before the Senate activity that it was basic for the US to have Mr. Goldberg in Seoul, refering to North Korea’s launch on Wednesday of a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters.

“South Korea is one of our most important trading partners. South Korea is one of our most important security partners,” Senator Ossoff said.

“We need a US ambassador to lead our mission in South Korea.”

The Senate likewise affirmed Mark Nathanson to be ambassador to Norway, MaryKay Loss Carlson to be ambassador to the Philippines, and John Nkengasong to organize US endeavors to battle HIV-AIDS around the world.

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