Quad Wants To Preserve Indo-Pacific Free From Coercion
The U.S., Australia, Japan, and India on Friday pledged to curb growing Chinese economic and military expansion in the region.
Foreign ministers of the so-called Quad, the informal grouping of the four countries, vowed to work on humanitarian relief, terrorism, cyber and maritime security and global supply chain challenges.
Despite being outside the group’s scope, an escalating crisis between the West and Russia over Ukraine was also a top agenda item, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken casting Moscow’s build-up as a challenge to the international rules-based order, which he said Quad would work to preserve.
That includes championing the rights of all countries to choose their own path, free from coercion and the right to have their sovereignty and territorial integrity, respected. Whether that’s here in the Indo-Pacific, in Europe, or anywhere else in the world, he said in his opening remarks of the meeting.
Mr. Blinken arrived in Australia this week as Washington grapples with a dangerous standoff with Moscow, which has massed some 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s border and stoked Western fears of an invasion.
The Biden administration wants to show the world its long-term strategic focus remains in the Asia-Pacific and that a major foreign policy crisis in one part of the world does not distract it from key priorities.
Asked by reporters on Friday if confrontation with Communist China in the Indo-Pacific was inevitable, Mr. Blinken replied “nothing is inevitable”.
Having said that, I think we share concerns that in recent years China has been acting more aggressively at home and more aggressively in the region, he said.