Amid China’s actions across Indo-Pacific, 2nd Quad meeting slated to be held in Tokyo in Oct
The members of the Quad, especially India, Japan and Australia, have also stepped up work on forging partnerships with like-minded countries in the region, or those with interests in the Indian Ocean, with an eye on China’s increasing assertiveness and aggressiveness.Updated: Sep 20, 2020, 20:31 IST
The second ministerial meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad is expected to be held in Tokyo early next month, people familiar with developments said, with the meet coming against the backdrop of China’s aggressive actions across the Indo-Pacific.
The meet will be held at a time when all four members of the Quad have serious differences with China – India is engaged in a border standoff in Ladakh, the Australian government has pledged to halt projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Japan is worried about Chinese intrusions near the Senkaku Islands, and the US is engaged in a trade war.
There has been no official word on the Quad meeting, with the external affairs ministry only saying the four sides were in talks to decide the venue and timing. The people cited above said the meeting is expected to be held in the Japanese capital in early October.
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The members of the Quad, especially India, Japan and Australia, have also stepped up work on forging partnerships with like-minded countries in the region, or those with interests in the Indian Ocean, with an eye on China’s increasing assertiveness and aggressiveness.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar said last week India and Japan were looking at cooperating on projects in Bangladesh and Myanmar as part of their efforts to work together in third countries.
India, Australia and France held their inaugural senior officials’ trilateral dialogue, with the focus on building convergences in the Indo-Pacific, on September 9, the same day that India and Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a pact for reciprocal provision of supplies and services between their defence forces.
China has eyed the Quad, which was revived in 2017, with suspicion, especially after the grouping was upgraded to the ministerial level in September last year.
The upcoming Quad meeting will also be the first such high-level meet to be held in Tokyo since March, when the Covid-19 pandemic stopped virtually all travel by top government functionaries. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had played a key role in the revival of the Quad and the holding of the meeting in Tokyo is expected to signal that his successor Yoshihide Suga is expected to continue with similar security and diplomatic policies, the people cited above said.
Senior officials of the Quad countries have held several virtual meetings during the pandemic to share experiences and coordinate on efforts to counter the Coronavirus.