The ‘Quad’, an informal alliance of Australia, US, India and Japan, is viewed by many as a Washington-led ploy to contain China’s rising influence in the Indo-Pacific, a region encompassing the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Australia formally re-joined the Quad alliance last year, after pulling out of it in 2008 in the wake of Beijing’s concerns.
The first-ever leadership level summit of the four countries comprising the ‘Quad’– Australia, India, Japan and the US — will be held in a virtual format in the coming days, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, stopping short of revealing the details of the meeting, which he said would take place in a virtual format.
Biden dialled Morrison on 3 February, in the first ever telephone call between the two leaders since the US President assumed office last month.
“They discussed how we can work together to address global and regional challenges, including dealing with China, beating the COVID-19 pandemic, and combating climate change,” said a White House read-out of the call between the Australian and US leaders.
The news about a leadership-level Quad summit has been doing the rounds for several weeks now, with several Japanese publications reporting about such a possibility last month. However, India’s External Affairs Ministry (EAM) rejected these news reports during a weekly press briefing last month.
“These news reports are false,” India’s External Affairs…