The prime minister has briefed Donald Trump on Australia’s new defence strategy, which adopts a much more aggressive posture towards China.
Scott Morrison spoke to the US president on Friday morning, committing to building Australia’s defence capabilities in partnership with America.
The pair also compared notes on managing the coronavirus and reopening their economies, according to an official readout of the telephone call.
Australia has shifted its full military focus to the Indo-Pacific and is buying long-range missiles to protect against China’s militarisation and fallout from the virus.
The United States has been extremely aggressive in blaming China for the deadly disease, as it struggles more than most countries to control the pandemic.
The leaders discussed working together more closely on a range of issues confronting the Indo-Pacific alongside Southeast Asian partners and other key players like India and Japan.
They also discussed coordinated approaches to multilateral organisations and their commitment to open markets and low-tax regimes.
Australia and the United States have both been critical of the World Health Organisation for its handling of coronavirus, though the US has responded more harshly by pulling funding from the UN agency.