When US President Joe Biden took office on January 20, he indicated his policy toward China would change little from that of his predecessor, Donald Trump, by inviting Hsiao Bi-khim, the chief envoy to the US from Taiwan, to his inauguration. Taiwan is an island China claims as its territory.
At the first summit of the heads of state of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) on Friday, Biden hailed the bloc as a “vital arena” for maintaining a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”
“The United States is committed to working with you, our partners, and all of our allies in the region to achieve stability. This is a group particularly important because it is dedicated to the practical solutions and concrete results.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi similarly praised the Quad as a “pillar of stability in the region,” saying the summit shows the alliance has “come of age.”
“Know, friends, that Australia, while looking to our friends in all of these tasks, we never leave it to our friends. We’ll do our share of the heavy lifting to lighten the burden for us all,” Morrison added.
However, the Quad leaders also pledged to cooperate in other fields, including the restoration of democracy in Myanmar following the seizure of power by the military last month, the production and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the Indo-Pacific region, and the launching of a critical- and emerging-technology working group. They also hoped to hold an…