The leaders of the ‘Quad’ nations — India, Australia, Japan, and the United States will hold an in-person summit later this year said the United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday (local time). Speaking at a White House Press briefing, Sullivan said that the Quad leaders summit — attended by US President Joe Biden, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga — focussed on the challenges posed by China. “The four leaders did discuss the challenge posed by China and they made clear that none of them had any illusions about China. Today was not fundamentally about China–much of the focus was on pressing global crises,” Sullivan said.
He added, “The leaders also agreed that they would meet in person by the end of the year and they launched a set of working groups including a technology group that would help set standards in key technologies like 5G… The Quad is a critical part of the architecture of the Indo-Pacific and today’s summit also kicks of an intensive stretch of diplomacy in the region.” The alliance also discussed the navigation in the East and South China Seas, North Korea as well as the coup in Myanmar were among the numerous topics during the very first meeting at such a level, the adviser added.
“During the meeting, the leaders addressed key regional issues including freedom of navigation and freedom from coercion in the South and East China Seas, the DPRK nuclear issue and the coup and violent repression in Burma,” Sullivan said. “Today is a big day for American diplomacy — this summit is a big deal for the president and the country. We are looking forward to the work ahead,” he added.
During the first Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), the four leaders – the US, Australia, India and Japan – stressed for a free, open and rule-based Indo-Pacific region that is “anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion” In a joint statement, the Quad leaders said: “We bring diverse perspectives and are united in a shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific. We strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion.”
“Today, the global devastation caused by COVID-19, the threat of climate change, and security challenges facing the region summon us with renewed purpose,” they said. The Quad is a strategic forum comprising India, Japan, Australia and the United States of America, held its first-ever head of states meet virtually on Friday.