Leaders of the “Quad” bloc will hold their first-ever meeting, as the four democracies of the US, Japan, India and Australia seek to counter China’s rising influence.
“This will become a feature of Indo-Pacific engagement,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Friday, without giving details on the timing of the talks, expected to be held virtually. “It will be four leaders, four countries, working together constructively for the peace, prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific.”
Morrison, who has seen trade hit by deteriorating relations with China, said he’d discussed arrangements with US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in recent weeks. He expected the talks would be followed by face-to-face meetings, he added.
“The Quad is very central to the United States and our thinking about the region, and looking at the Indo-Pacific also through the prism of our Asean partners and their vision of the Indo-Pacific,” Morrison said, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “So, yes, the Quad is very central.”