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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Quad opposes China’s ‘coercive, provocative, unilateral’ actions.

SYDNEY (CU)_The leaders of the US, Australia, India and Japan met in Tokyo on Tuesday (24 May), for a second in-person summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, colloquially known as the Quad. During the meeting, the four leaders discussed several matters of mutual interest, including those which has risked division among the group.

The Quad, which was launched back in 2007, is being widely viewed as a response to China’s growing economic and military influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Accordingly, during the recent meeting, the four countries pledged to invest more than $50 billion, in order to develop infrastructure required to combat the Communist superpower. In a joint statement issued following the summit, US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Japanese counterpart PM Fumio Kishida said they “strongly oppose any coercive, provocative or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo” in the Indo-Pacific, although they did not mention China by name.

They went on to note that such actions would include “the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities”, all of which Beijing has been accused of often carrying out in the region. The four leaders revealed that the new Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), a maritime surveillance initiative, will be launched to address these concerns and to work with regional partners to combat illegal fishing and respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. 

“IPMDA will support and work in consultation with Indo-Pacific nations and regional information fusion centers in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands by providing technology and training to support enhanced, shared maritime domain awareness to promote stability and prosperity in our seas and oceans,” the statement read.

Other matters of mutual interest, like COVID-19, climate change and technology were also subjects of discussion at the summit, as well as the ongoing in war in Ukraine, an issue which has risked division among the group. India is the only member of the alliance to have avoided criticising Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, despite growing frustration among the other members over the country’s silence on the matter.

In his opening remarks of the summit, President Biden said he believed the quad’s goals of securing a free and open Indo-Pacific has only been heightened by the ongoing geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe. “We are navigating a dark hour in our shared history,” he said. “The Russian brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe … This is more than just a European issue. It’s a global issue.”

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