US to join Australia, India, Japan in first-ever Quad summit

US to join Australia, India, Japan in first-ever Quad summit
The US Navy and the Royal Australian Navy patrol together in the South China Sea. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: US President Joe Biden will hold the first-ever joint talks with the leaders of Japan, India and Australia as part of an emerging four-way alliance, known as the “Quad”, seen as fundamental to efforts to balance China’s growing economic and military power.

Friday’s virtual meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the “Quad”, will be one of President Biden’s first summits since taking White House and comes as his administration has sought to counter China’s trade and military expansion by strengthening alliances.

The Quad was launched in 2007 by the then Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was alarmed at China’s growing assertiveness around Asia.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday: “That President Biden has made this one of his earliest multilateral engagements speaks to the importance that we place on close cooperation with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.”

A range of topics facing the world is expected to be discussed “from the threat of Covid to economic cooperation and, of course, to the climate crisis,” the press secretary said.

Meanwhile, a senior White House administration official told Reuters that the meeting is meant to send “a very strong signal of common cause and purpose. And the goal here is basically to introduce the Quad as a new feature of regular diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific.”

The same message was echoed by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who called the upcoming Quad meeting “an historic moment” and said it “sends a strong message to the region about our support for a sovereign, independent Indo-Pacific”.

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