On Friday, President Biden attended the summit of the first leaders of the informal international alliance, known as the “Quad,” as his administration seeks to meet China’s growing influence.
The group, which also includes India, Japan and Australia, met virtually due to coronavirus restrictions.
Biden opened the summit by emphasizing the need for a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region.
“The United States is committed to working with you, our partners and all our partners in this area to achieve stability,” he said.
In a joint statement after the meeting, the four leaders reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate on COVID-19, security challenges and climate change.
“Today, we pledge to respond to shared challenges, including COVID-19, climate change, and economic and health impacts, including cyberspace, complex technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investments, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.” Yet, they said. “
The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearize North Korea and agreed that their countries would establish a “vaccine expert working group” to assist in the distribution of COVID-19, among other things.
The four counties on Friday vowed to use 1 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the SF Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Indo-Pacific countries by the end of 2022, using Indian production, US and Japanese funding and a letter to security adviser Jack Suleiman. Said.
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It also hurts every country to make it clear that they are not an anti-Beijing club.
State Department spokeswoman Ned Price told reporters Thursday that “it was not established to deal with a single threat or to focus on a single issue, but to show what democracies can offer together, our own population and the wider world.” For both. “
Despite this opposition, the alliance is widely seen as an attempt to counter Beijing’s growing military and economic power.
Writer and China analyst Bill Hate told NBC News that it is a group of countries concerned about China, and all trying to advance an open, democratic non-Chinese path.
However, he added that “quads” are not a formal alliance like NATO and therefore do not take a strict duty to defend each other.
After the formal establishment in 2007, representatives of the four members of the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” met separately.
But the group was revived by former President Donald Trump, whose Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended the meetings, as Washington sought to revive the alliance amid growing tensions with Beijing.
Convid-19, Hong Kong’s autonomy, and alleged human rights abuses in Taiwan and Xinjiang have strained relations between the world’s two largest economies.
In a sign that the Biden administration will take a tougher stance, Secretary of State Anthony Blink has been labeled as “America’s biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century.”
However, it is only in the U.S. Not the only one that has been colliding with China.
India, Australia, Australia and Japan all face their own security challenges, which strengthens their interest in the four-nation alliance.
There have long been complaints about islands and maritime claims fought in Japan, while Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in deadly border clashes over disputed Himalayan territory over the past year.
Australia has faced trade pressure from Beijing and Prime Minister Scott Morris said on Friday that the “quad” meeting was a “historic moment” and “an opportunity to create a new anchor for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific”.
The revival of the group also gained momentum after India last year invited Australia to join naval exercises with it, the US and Japan.
To give the group an effective response to the increasingly fierce Beijing, China analyst Hetton said the Biden administration should try to offer more than just the bottom of security. Instead, it matches the “full spectrum engagement” that China offers to countries in the region, such as aid and vaccines, all of which “was completely lacking during the Trump era,” he added.
To that end, leaders are expected to announce plans to boost India’s coronavirus vaccine production capacity, as China pursues its own policy of so-called vaccine diplomacy around the world.
“The idea that you can somehow accommodate China is just ridiculous, but I think it’s a way to try to make sure that China doesn’t completely set the agenda,” Hayeton added.
Surprisingly, Beijing is not a fan of the grand coalition.
Chinese officials did not directly comment on Friday’s meeting but have previously condemned the group and warned against “specific groups.”
“For Beijing, this is all bad news,” said Michael Shobridge, director of defense, strategy and national security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s think tank.
“Quad’s agenda … is exactly the kind of multilateral cooperation that Beijing fears and finds difficult to orchestrate.”
The Virtual Summit comes amid U.S. diplomatic outcry in Asia.
Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit Japan and South Korea next week under pressure to forge an important alliance. And the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, to meet with Biden in April. Will travel.
Blinken and National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan will also meet with top Chinese officials in Alaska next week, the first high-level personal contact between the two countries since Biden took office.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the press on Thursday that Beijing hopes relations will return to a “healthy and stable” track.
He said China calls on the US to “reject the Cold War and the zero-sum game mentality and respect China’s sovereignty, security and development interests and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.”