Bipartisan group of US lawmakers welcome first in-person Quad summit

Topics Quad | Joe Biden | Narendra Modi

Quad summit 2021 | Photo: @PMOIndia

A bipartisan group of American lawmakers on Friday welcomed the first-ever in-person Quad summit hosted by US President Joe Biden.

At the invitation of President Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterparts Scott Morrison from Australia and Yoshihide Suga from Japan gathered in the American capital for the first-ever in-person Quad summit at the White House.

Opening the summit, President Biden said the four democracies have come together to take on common challenges from Covid to climate.

The US lawmakers, in a joint statement, said that the Quad is taking critical steps to expand technological cooperation and military interoperability from the virtual heads of state summit, vaccine partnership, and supply chain resilience initiative earlier this spring to the successful exercise MALABAR last month.

As the Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the Congressional Caucuses for Japan, Australia and India, we welcome the first in-person Heads of State meeting of the Quad, convened by President Joseph R Biden and attended by Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide of Japan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, they said.

This historic meeting offers a critical opportunity to deepen cooperation with our Quad partners on security, economics, governance, global health and human rights issues to advance our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, they said.

The Quad summit they said builds on critical momentum from earlier this year.

In recent years, Japan, Australia and India along with countless other nations across the Indo-Pacific and beyond have all been the targets of attempted economic coercion from the People's Republic of China, the lawmakers said.

The Quad is ideally positioned to build a blueprint for collective resilience against this type of aggression and assist others facing similar challenges, the lawmakers said.

The Quad also has an important opportunity to engage with multilateral organisations in the Indo-Pacific, particularly ASEAN. There are also countless areas to expand cooperation between the Quad and the European Union, as well as other regional organisations in places like the Pacific Islands. This cooperation could include natural areas of mutual interest such as technology and global infrastructure.

As strong supporters of United States cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India, we are excited for the Quad to deepen its cooperation across a wide range of fields this week. It is important to use opportunities such as this to expand the substance and reach of this important partnership. We in Congress stand ready to assist in this effort, they added.

In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China's growing military presence in the strategic region.

India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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