Penny Wong is already making history as both the first Asian-born and openly gay woman to become Australia's top diplomat. She is quickly confronting the nation's most difficult geopolitical challenge in decades.
Within days of being sworn in on May 23, Wong — born to a Chinese Malaysian father — rushed to Fiji to counter a rare trip to nearby Pacific island countries by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He hoped to sign a sweeping regional deal to entrench Beijing's influence after reaching a security agreement with the Solomon Islands that could allow naval ships to dock some 2,000 kilometers from Australia's coast.
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