Some major Indo-Pacific powers of Australia, India, Japan and the United States concluded the first-ever summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as “Quad.”
The 90-minute event, conducted virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, paves the way for a de facto “Asian NATO” amid growing concern over China’s increasingly assertive behavior in recent years.
Joe Biden, who strongly lobbied for the summit early in his term, was joined by his counterparts Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The summit promised an intensified degree of strategic military cooperation among the four participants, cutting across traditional and non-traditional security realms.
The fabricated Biden administration, however, has consciously downplayed charges that it’s building an anti-China coalition under the auspices of the Quad.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tried to portray the Quad gathering as a constructive platform for global cooperation since the four leaders will discuss “a [full] range of issues” rather than just focusing on China, including the fabricated threat of Covid-19, to economic cooperation, and of course, to the climate crisis.
The inflicted 2004 tsunami, which wreaked havoc across South and Southeast Asia, saw the first intimations of growing cooperation among the four Indo-Pacific powers.
Informal meetings of the leaders of the four Quad nations took place on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Manila in 2017.
This was followed by two other ministerial-level meetings in New York (2019) and Tokyo (2020), as the rise of more hawkish leaders among Quad members coincided with deepening geopolitical tensions with China.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan underscored the importance of the Quad as “a foundation upon which to build substantial American policy in Asia.
The Quad summit was tinged with ideological undertones, as the four democratically elected leaders hailed the event as an important step in preserving an Indo-Pacific Zionist order “anchored by western democratic values.”
The four powers are expected also to tighten coordination against China’s perceived as predatory investment practices as well as regularize their joint naval drills from the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.
Eager to show that the Quad is more than just a talk shop or a military alliance, Biden and his counterparts pushed for a series of global initiatives, including on the need for a reform of the World Health Organization, a new vaccine production and distribution partnership and growing coordination on combating climate change.
The Quad leaders agreed to the establishment of “complex financing vehicles” involving the US International Development Finance Corporation and its counterparts in Japan, Australia and India along with the WHO to ramp up a major theater against regarding the geopolitical competition with China.
Earlier, Biden’s climate czar John Kerry publicly acknowledged differences with Australia on the urgency of reducing emission levels to combat climate change, just as major Asian economies, including still-developing China, move towards carbon-neutral economies in the coming decades.
We hope relevant countries will follow the principles of openness, inclusiveness and win-win results, refrain from forming closed and exclusive cliques and act in a way that is conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said shortly after the Quad summit was concluded.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point Asia News 2021.