Quad: As tensions continue in China, Biden is preparing for his first summit with Australia, Japan and India

Quad: As tensions continue in China, Biden is preparing for his first summit with Australia, Japan and India

It will be the first time that talks have taken place between the Quartet heads of state, and it comes at a time when the four countries are witnessing escalating tensions with China on a variety of issues.

“It has been confirmed that the meeting of the Quartet will take place soon, probably on Friday,” the source said.

The Quartet, or Quartet Security Dialogue, is an informal strategic forum for the four concerned countries, and has been characterized by semi-regular summits and exchange of information.

But the meetings have never been attended by the heads of state of the four countries, who are currently US President Joe Biden, and the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide SugaIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi And Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Although it is not a formal military alliance like NATO, it is seen by some as a potential counterweight to growing Chinese influence and Alleged aggression in the Asia Pacific region. Beijing denounced the alliance as an anti-China bloc.

Morrison reviewed the talks at a news conference last week.

“The Quartet is very central to the United States and our thinking about the region,” Morrison said.

“This will become a feature of the Indo-Pacific partnership. But it won’t be a big bureaucracy with great honesty and those kinds of things. It will be four leaders, four countries, working together constructively for peace, prosperity and stability from the Indo-Pacific, which is good for everyone.” In the Indian and Pacific Oceans. “

Joint military exercises

On the military side of the Quartet, cooperation has increased over the past year through bilateral agreements between Quartet partners and joint military exercises.

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Last November, Australia joined the annual Malabar Exercise with the United States, Japan and India. The exercises have been conducted annually since 1992, and the exercises have grown in size and complexity in recent years to address what the US Navy previously described as “a variety of common threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asian Pacific”.

Ships from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and US Navy in formation during Malabar 2018.

Australia’s participation means that all four members of the quartet took part in training for the first time since 2007.

All four countries have witnessed troubled relations with China over the past few years.

Indian and Chinese forces participated in a military clash along the Line of Actual Control – the de facto border between the two countries in the Himalayas – in June, which left troops on both sides dead after a hand-to-hand fight.

Relations between Beijing and New Delhi have been tepid since, with trade and technology disputes emerging.

Japan and China are still at odds over The Disputed Senkaku Islands. Beijing has increased the presence of coast guard ships near the uninhabited East China Sea islands, known as the Diaoyos in China.
Relations between Australia and China have fallen apart A series of trade disputes.
The United States sends a warship across the Taiwan Strait for the first time under Biden's command

Meanwhile, the United States has increased the pace of its naval and air missions in the South China Sea, while retreating from Beijing’s claims to the vast waterway. It also strengthened its support for autonomous Taiwan, which Beijing claims is its sovereign territory.

Asia and China have been a major foreign policy focus of the Biden administration since it took office on January 20.

Last week, a State Department official and a diplomat from Asia said that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin would Traveling to Japan and South Korea From the 14th to the 18th of March.

This will be the first international visit by Biden government officials since the inauguration of the US President.

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The Japanese leader expected to visit Washington

Japan said on Monday that Prime Minister Suga will visit the White House “as soon as possible” while he is making a visit Covid-19 The situation is considered, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato.

Kato told a news conference on Monday that the Japan-US summit meeting will be held, but the date and details have yet to be decided.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference after the parliament session in Tokyo on December 4, 2020.

If confirmed, Suga will be the first international leader to visit the White House under the Biden administration.

Blinken this month referred to the US relationship with Beijing as “the greatest geopolitical test of the 21st century.” He said there was a need to engage China from a position of strength that could only be done side by side with allies and partners.

“China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge a stable and open international order – all the rules, values ​​and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to,” Blinken said in the speech about the Biden administration’s national security strategy.

CNN’s Junko Ogura contributed to this report.

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