WASHINGTON – Quad leaders from the United States, Japan, India, and Australia meet today with a common concern about China’s increasing power and aggressive behavior.
Hence, they come together in a group for the first time on Friday to attend the summit. Besides, it could bring advancements in COVID-19 vaccinations and cooperation in infrastructure and technology.
However, the gathering of the Quad is the name given to the grouping of four major democracies. And it will hold just one day after the United States, Britain and Australia have signed an AUKUS security pact.
Read more: Panama closes in on herd immunity for COVID-19.
Under this security pack, Australia will receive nuclear-powered submarines. It is a move that Beijing has rebuked.
The Quad leaders – U.S. President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Australian PM Scott Morrison – will meet in a group on the White House in the afternoon.
In the meantime, Biden has a morning meeting with Modi. Biden will then hold a separate meeting with Suga following Suga’s meeting at the Quad summit.
“We have what we call deliverables infrastructure, in larger health engagements in technology and science as well as space and cybersecurity,” a senior U.S. administration official spoke to NewsGater.
The specific agreements include improving the security of semiconductor supply chains, which is a field of intense competition with China.
It includes mapping capacity overall and identifying any weaknesses according to the official.
Another option is a 5G deployment and diversification program to aid authorities with “fostering the development of a broad resilient and secure telecommunications infrastructure.”
Additionally, the official said that the two countries will also exchange information to stop illegal fishing, increase awareness about maritime domains, and take steps to keep track of climate change.
Meanwhile, the summit will “have plenty to discuss” the next steps in the plan to provide one billion COVID-19 vaccines across Asia at 2022’s end. Also, it endorsed the initiative during a virtual quad summit in March.
However, it forced the plan to put on hold following Indian as the world’s top producer of vaccines to ban exports in April following the massive COVID epidemic in the country.
“The particular issues relating to what India will pledge to, and the specific deliverables we have in mind about the vaccine issue, are set to be announced in the coming days at the Quad summit,” the official said.
India has announced that it will be prepared to resume exports of vaccines during October-October and will prioritize the COVAX international vaccine initiative and its neighboring countries first.
However, it is also seeking an exemption in intellectual rights in COVID-19 vaccinations, and greater access to raw material.
“There have been issues in India during this summer,” said the U.S. official stated. “But … We think it’s essential to realize the goals that we set out in the beginning.”
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited Modi and Modi on Thursday and praised India’s decision to restart vaccine exports. She also said that both countries need to collaborate to safeguard democracies.
The leaders are scheduled to discuss security issues in the region, U.S. officials have attempted to downplay the security implications of the Quad.
Even though the members engage in joint naval exercises and worry about China’s increasing power and its attempts to pressure the four countries.
“I would like to emphasize it is that the Quad is not a formal meeting,” the senior U.S. official told reporters, adding that the gathering was “not an organization for regional security” and was not affiliated with AUKUS.
China has not made any effort to distinguish the two countries while denouncing the Quad as an untrue Cold War construct and saying that the AUKUS alliance will increase the intensity of a regional arms race.
In his speech at this week’s United Nations General Assembly this week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping declared that China had to “reject this practice” of making small circles or zero-sum games.”
Devika Chowdhury – She is a professional news editor, writer, and blogger for the last 10 years. She is working with NewsGater as an off-beat news editor cum writer.