The U.S. Focused On The Indo-Pacific Amid Ukraine Tension
U.S. State Secretary Anthony Blinken to preside over the Quad meeting in Melbourne on Friday.
Australia, the United States, India and Japan will ramp up initiatives to counter Communist China’s disinformation campaigns and coercive economic measures as the four countries look to keep the focus on Asia.
Australian Foreign Minister Payne said she looked forward to hosting the Quad meeting in Melbourne on Friday and suggested a key focus would be to help countries in the region fend off coercion from other nations.
We are a vital network of liberal democracies committed to practical co-operation, including to support a regional recovery and to ensure all Indo-Pacific nations, large and small, are able to make their own strategic decisions, free from coercion, she said.
Australia is also expected to raise the importance of not letting the Ukraine crisis distract from the Quad’s priorities in the Indo-Pacific, including Beijing’s militarisation of the South China Sea and threats against Taiwan.
Ukraine also in focus
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday Australia was “highly concerned” about the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.
Any breach of Ukraine’s sovereign territory is not a mark of peace, Mr Morrison said.
Mr. Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, said Mr Blinken’s decision to proceed with his trip to Australia and Fiji sent an important message that the US was staying committed to the Quad and the Indo-Pacific amid the Ukraine crisis.
It’s impressive how much the four countries are maintaining the momentum of high-level meetings, he said.