Quad backs Asean-led system for Indo-Pacific
India, Australia, Japan and the US have backed Asean-led mechanisms in efforts to create a rule-based regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific, where China is seeking to exert its influence.
The group of the four nations known as ‘the Quad’, during a meeting in Bangkok, Friday, held consultations on collective efforts to “advance a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific”, according to a US statement.
“The participants reiterated their strong support for Asean-centrality and Asean-led mechanisms in the regional architecture for Indo-Pacific and in this regard welcomed the initiative of Asean towards a common vision for Indo-Pacific,” said an external affairs ministry statement.
India has been keeping a close eye on efforts led by Indonesia to fashion an Indo-Pacific outlook. India, Australia, Japan and the US revived the Quad in November 2017 as part of efforts to keep key sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
The statements issued by Japan and the US after the meet referred to efforts to “maintain universal respect for international law and freedom of navigation and overflight”. The Indian statement also referred to the commitment of the four countries to a “free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific”.
The US statement said the members will explore opportunities to enhance cooperation, including maritime security. They will continue close coordination in support of sustainable, private sector-led development and good governance, it added.