India Joins 'Quadrilateral' With Australia, Japan and U.S. to Limit China's Intrusion

Dr Subhash Chandra

Global summit on Indo Pacific development

Modi will also participate in the ASEAN business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Chaired by Japan's ruling party chief Toshihiro Nikai and co-chaired by Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subhash Chandra, GPS will provide alternative developmental models to countries in the Indo-Pacific region which are threatened by China's predatory economics.

The meeting, which focuses on keeping the Indo-Pacific region "free and open", is seen as the first official response to China's aggressive behaviour in the area. Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said the Indo-Pacific region is a "dynamic region" with great potential.

The officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as well as on enhancing connectivity.

India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. on Sunday agreed that "a free, open, prosperous and inclusive" Indo-Pacific served long-term global interests, giving impetus to an emerging quad of democracies amid Chinas rising military and economic power. Sources said India's statement sought to connect the clandestine links between North Korea and Pakistan in the development of their nuclear programmes. "Indo-Pacific" has grown in usage across diplomatic and security circles in Australia, India and Japan in recent years, shorthand for a broader and democratic-led region in place of the "Asia-Pacific", which to some places an authoritarian China too firmly at the centre.

"The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address shared challenges in the region".

"The discussions focussed on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners".

The US State Department stated that the officials had "examined ways to achieve common goals and address common challenges in the region, such as: upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for worldwide law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes".

Officials also agreed to work together to address threats to worldwide peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.

The US had said it was looking at a "working-level" quadrilateral meeting in the near term with India, Japan and Australia.

China on Monday said that regional cooperation groupings should "avoid politicising or excluding" countries, reacting warily to the first ever meeting of officials from India, United States, Japan and Australia in a decade.

"Let's be clear that there is a growing anxiety in the Indo-Pacific with Chinese assertiveness, further complicated by the uncertainty over US's role in the region".

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