Britain must be prepared to confront its “uncomfortable” colonial past if it wants a closer relationship with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia’s foreign minister has said.

Penny Wong, a Labor Party politician who was born in Malaysia, said that being open about its history would help the UK to find “common ground” with countries in the region.

On her first visit to Britain since she was appointed foreign minister last May, Wong told an audience at King’s College London that the relationship between the two nations had changed.

Wong met the foreign secretary, James Cleverly, in London, as well as Ben Wallace, the defence secretary


“Today, as a modern, multicultural country, home to people of more than 300 ancestries and the oldest continuing culture on Earth, Australia sees itself as being in the Indo-Pacific and being of the Indo-Pacific,” Wong said.