Leaders from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States emphasize the need of a “stable” Pacific.
In a veiled shot at competitor China, President Joe Biden and the leaders of Australia, India, and Japan emphasized their Quad group’s responsibility in ensuring a stable, democratic Indo-Pacific on Friday.
Biden’s latest endeavor to cement US leadership in Asia in the face of a growing China was the Quad’s first in-person conference.
The four leaders discussed their Covid vaccinations drive, regional infrastructure, climate change, and protecting supply chains for critical semiconductors used in computer technology in the White House’s ceremonial East Room.
While China was not mentioned, it loomed large over the rest of the day.
At the outset of the summit, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “We liberal democracies believe in a world order that favors freedom, and we believe in a free and open Indo-Pacific because we know that’s what delivers a strong, stable, and successful region.”
The word “free and open” has come to symbolize the major regional powers’ concerns about China’s growing economic, political, and military presence, as well as potential threats to crucial international sea lanes.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga remarked, “This event underscores the strong solidarity between our four nations and our steadfast commitment to the common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, praised both countries’ “shared democratic principles.”
Biden, who frequently speaks about democracies having to establish their worth in the face of powerful autocracies like Russia and China, told the Quad that they were on the front lines.
“We are four big democracies with a long history of working together. He stated, “We know how to get things done and we are up to the challenge.”
Following the United States’ stunning pullout from the 20-year Afghanistan war, the Quad summit signified another step toward renewing a US focus on diplomatic efforts.
The Quad is the most open of three regional alliances that Washington leads in its geopolitical chess game to manage China’s rise.
The other two are the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership, which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and AUKUS, the newest member.
AUKUS was only revealed last week and is now focused on a mission to purchase nuclear-powered submarines for Australia utilizing US and British technology. Although it would take years for Australia’s navy to receive the vessels, the announcement enraged China and sparked a violent battle with France, which saw its already negotiated deal for the vessels canceled. Brief News from Washington Newsday.