The Quad summit launched new initiatives to counter China’s role in the Indo-Pacific
The Quad on Tuesday launched several initiatives to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific, notably a partnership to monitor regional waters and a plan to provide $50 billion in infrastructure assistance, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the grouping’s constructive agenda will enhance its image as a force for good in the Indo-Pacific.
In Tokyo, PM Modi attended the second in-person summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad with his Australian and Japanese counterparts, Anthony Albanese and Fumio Kishida, and US President Joe Biden, during which the leaders reaffirmed their “steadfast commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient.””.
During their televised opening remarks, none of the Quad leaders mentioned China’s aggressive actions, but most of the new initiatives launched at the summit – including the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), the move to bridge infrastructure gaps and a comprehensive approach to cyber-security – aim to position the grouping as an effective counterweight to Beijing’s efforts to increase its influence.
In a very short time, the Quad has carved out an important global role, and its scope has multiplied and its influence has grown, Modi said.
It is “shared objective” to have a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific; Quad partners have increased coordination in areas such as vaccine delivery, climate action, supply chain resilience, disaster response, and economic cooperation, Modi said.
Asked if China’s actions were discussed during the Quad Summit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra responded, “The discussions were constructive and forward-looking” and also discussed Indo-Pacific challenges and opportunities, as well as cooperation with regional countries to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity.
A joint flight of Chinese and Russian fighter jets took place near Japan during the Quad Summit in Tokyo, a move that Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi described as “provocative”. This is the fourth time joint flights of China and Russia have been spotted near Japan since November, and the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Japanese government officials conveyed to Russia and China their “grave concerns” regarding the flights over the Sea of Japan, East China Sea, and West Pacific.
At the Quad Summit, the leaders launched the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), which will work with regional partners to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters, as well as to combat illegal fishing. IPMDA will support regional information fusion centers in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands to support enhanced and shared maritime domain awareness.