Quad summit: China in mind, statement says will counter threats to Indo-Pacific

Signalling their commitment to a “shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific” and a region that is “inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion”, the first summit of leaders of the Quadrilateral grouping Friday pledged to promote a “free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond”.

This is a thinly-veiled reference to China’s proactive and assertive activities in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond which the world views as belligerence.

This was the key takeaway after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japan PM Yoshihide Suga and Australian PM Scott Morrison met through virtual mode for the first Quad summit.

From India’s perspective, the situation along the Line of Actual Control where Indian and Chinese troops have been in a standoff since May 2020, was also discussed, sources told The Indian Express.

The four leaders agreed that they will meet for an “in-person” summit by the end of the year. This could take place on the sidelines of a multilateral summit like the G-7 in UK in June or the G-20 in Italy in October, or in the US or another country.

All four leaders made statements flagging the issue of “free and open Indo-Pacific” — a reference to Chinese belligerence in the region.

“We are renewing our commitment to ensure that our region is governed by international…

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