Quad Erat Demonstrandrum: Concert of four democracies stand up to China without mentioning it | India News – Times of India


WASHINGTON: Leaders from four diverse democratic nations, each country separated by thousands of miles of sea lanes, met at the White House on Friday for the first in-person Quad summit and said they would work together as only democracies can to address some of the most pressing challenges of the times.
A free and open Indo-Pacific region was the common theme in brief remarks by the four leaders — President Joe Biden of US, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India, Scott Morrison of Australia, Yoshihide Suga of Japan — as they emphasized their respective country’s vision and priorities, suggesting that while the formation is reading from the same play book, they are not necessarily on the same page yet.
Live updates: PM Modi in US
While Prime Minister Modi went beyond the Indo-Pacific region and said Quad would be a “force for global good,” Australia’s Scott Morrison stayed in the Indo-Pacific region, saying Australia wanted a region free of coercion, an implicit reference to China, which no leader spoke of directly. Surprisingly, Japan’s PM Suga brought a bilateral trade issue with the US, export of Japanese rice and food products, to the table.

The four countries are expected to issue a joint statement or declaration later in the day outlining spheres of cooperation — which will be sans a direct military element — including in areas such as 5G technology, climate change, critical infrastructure, and supply chains, while also announcing a stem fellowship for students from the four countries, which President Biden briefly touched upon.
Notwithstanding minor wrinkles — including a misspelling of Hindi at the venue and jokes about Indian and Japanese reporters in one corner and American and Australian reporters in an another — the summit struck a positive tone, with officials saying on the sidelines that the formation “stands for something rather than against something.”
Despite repeated denials that there is a military dimension to the Quad cooperation, the leaders are expected to discuss security in the Indo-Pacific region, including Afghanistan, lending some credence to the Chinese description of Quad as an “Indo-Pacific NATO.” Japanese media said Prime Minister Suga also intends to discuss North Korea’s ballistic missile launches.

Source link

Share this