The announcement on Wednesday that US President Joe Biden had canceled his trip to Australia is a blow to Australia’s Labor government and the US-led anti-China campaign across the India-Pacific region.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, left, US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, at the Quad Leaders Summit, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Tokyo. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

Biden was due to take part next week in Sydney in a meeting of the Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue (Quad) which brings together the United States, Australia, Japan and India in a de facto alliance directed against Beijing. He will travel to Japan again for a G7 summit this weekend. This is where a side meeting of the Quad will be held.

The reason given for this cancellation is that Joe Biden must be in the United States during the debt ceiling crisis. In its own way, this underscores the historic decline of US imperialism.

Even as it wages a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine and prepares for conflict with China, seen as its main economic threat, American capitalism is plagued by ongoing internal political and economic turmoil that threaten to increase instability.

As the WSWS explained, the debt ceiling crisis is largely fabricated. The cap issue has been popping up every two years for decades. A solution is invariably found. The debt ceiling is being used to lay the groundwork for an outright attack on social programs and the living conditions of American workers, in the interests of the trusts.

Joe Biden’s trip to Japan also shows that he is hardly chained to his White House office in the midst of debt ceiling negotiations.

The cancellation was not revealed in a delicate and well-orchestrated way, but in a rather brutal way that tarnished the reputation of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

For weeks, Albanese and other senior Labor ministers have touted the importance of the Quad meeting. She was to highlight Australia’s increasingly central role in US foreign policy in the India-Pacific region, as well as the close relationship of the Labor government and the Biden government.

At 10:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, Albanese had announced to much fanfare that Biden would address a joint session of both houses of Australia’s parliament during his visit. Then, the next morning, the whole trip was canceled.

It seems that major American publications like the New York Times may have been informed of this cancellation before Albanese. Australian media have since reported that Albanese received a phone call from a US official announcing the cancellation of the visit before 5 a.m. Wednesday. It seems unlikely that information from this morning call was leaked to the press by Albanese or his team.

There are no doubt many reasons for the cancellation of Biden’s visit. But the way it was arranged undoubtedly looked like an affront to the Labor government.

Reports in the Australian press give an idea of ​​some of the factors at play. The official media, deeply rooted in the American and Australian military and intelligence apparatus, have engaged in a great deal of questioning.