Quad summit to be held in Tokyo after Australian elections in May

Formal invitations will be sent by Japan only after the dates convenient to all are finalised.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, January 22, 2022, 11:44 AM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, US President Joe Biden, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at Quad summit, in Washington DC in 2021. | Photo: ANI

With US President Joe Biden accepting Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s invitation to visit the country in the first half of the year on Friday, the Quad summit is expected to be held in May with matters like free and open Indo-Pacific, Covid-19 response, climate, clean energy, and infrastructure on the agenda, Hindustan Times reports

The last Quad summit took place on September 24, 2021, in Washington. The sides discussed the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery, infrastructure projects, climate change, cooperation in space and cyberspace, and student exchanges.

During this summit, PM Modi had asserted that the cooperation among four countries including India, the United States, Australia and Japan in the group will ensure peace and prosperity in Indo-pacific.

As per the officials in knowledge of the matter, the Quad summit has been declared but will be held only after the Australian general elections in May. Formal invitations will be sent by Japan only after the dates convenient to all are finalised. A meeting of Quad foreign ministers and sherpas is also expected to shape the agenda for the event.

The meeting comes at a time when former Cold War powers Russia and US are locked on Ukraine, Shia Houthis in Yemen have targeted Sunni UAE with drone attacks and China has set eyes on Taiwan while developing fortress Tibet and Sinkiang through extensive Sinicization campaign, according to Hindustan Times.

While Biden accepted Kishida’s invitation for participating in the Quad summit, the key points from the virtual summit was that Washington encouraged hike in Japanese defence spending, pledged to protect Senkaku Islands from China and agreed to work with other pacific partners like Australia, New Zealand and France over humanitarian disaster relief work.

Both US and Japan have agreed on a economic discussion in two plus two format with focus on developing global supply chains independent of China. This decision to intensify financial cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region also dovetails into the Quad's vision for alternate supply chains with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison facing unfavorable trade ties with China on account of mounting trade deficit and high tariff sanctions respectively.

While there will be no further admission into Quad grouping, all the participating nations identify the centrality of ASEAN countries in tackling Indo-Pacific and intensification of engagement with Indonesia has already started in a effort for an open Indo-Pacific. This is due to the fact that all the ingress routes to South China Sea are under the Indonesian authority - from Malacca Strait to Ombai-Wetar strait near Timor in Pacific.

The Indian government is already engaging Indonesia as it close to Andamans and Nicobar Islands and there is discussion on New Delhi providing Jakarta with BrahMos supersonic land attack missiles after Manila.

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