Australia is going to host a meeting of QUAD leaders tomorrow in Melbourne. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar, and Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa are going to attend the meeting with their Australian counterpart and host Foreign Minister Marise Payne. The event will be a two-day event.
In the words of the host, the meeting is going to have “ambitious agenda in support of a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
A statement released by the Australian Foreign minister’s office said that the QUAD is a crucial partnership with three of Australia’s closest regional allies, each of whom shares a commitment to openness and transparency in the Indo pacific.
“Together we are a vital network of liberal democracies committed to practical cooperation and to ensuring all Indo-Pacific nations, large and small, are able to make their own strategic decisions, free from coercion,” the minister said.
While the focus of the meeting is likely to be Indo-Pacific, according to reports, the US Secretary of State is going to raise the Ukraine crisis. According to US officials, the topic will be discussed with other members “given the seriousness of the issue and the threat it poses to the rules-based global order.”
According to a statement released by Blinken, the QUAD would bolster maritime security and “push back” any coercion in the region.
The US leader also clarified that QUAD is not a security or military alliance.
India’s External Affairs Minister, who will be attending the fourth QUAD foreign minister’s meeting, said in a press statement, “(meeting) be an opportunity for the ministers to follow up on their virtual meeting held in February 2021 and exchange views on regional strategic issues given their shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”
Meanwhile China has reacted to this upcoming meeting. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that QUAD is a “bloc.” Beijing also criticized all members for their “Cold War mentality,” and members trying to put wedges in the region.
The Chinese foreign ministry has accused QUAD of operating as a “clique” and targeting “other countries.”
The QUAD meet beginning tomorrow will set the agenda for the QUAD leaders’ summit that Japan would be hosting later in the year.
Other than discussions on agendas, the leaders will also focus on vaccine delivery and supply chain issues and disruptive and critical technologies.