‘A force for global good’: PM Modi on Quad Leaders' Summit after China calls it 'closed clique'
- PM Modi said he would be happy to discuss issues like supply chain, global security, climate action, Covid response or tech cooperation with his Quad counterparts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Quad will work as a 'force for global good' since the cooperation among the four countries will ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific as well as the entire world. During the opening remarks ahead of the first in-person Quad Leaders' Summit, PM Modi said the four nations met for the time after the disastrous Tsunami of 2004 to help the Indo-Pacific region and now they are meeting when the world is fighting against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Today, when the world is fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic, we have come here once again as Quad for the welfare of humanity,” he said.
The prime minister further stated that the Quad vaccine initiative will help Indo-Pacific nations. Noting the shared democratic values of Quad nations, PM Modi said he would be happy to discuss issues like supply chain, global security, climate action, Covid response or tech cooperation with his Quad counterparts.
“In a way, our Quad will work as a 'force for global good',” he added.
PM Modi's comment on the objective of Quad comes in the backdrop of China's criticism of the grouping. Earlier today, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian called Quad “a closed, exclusive clique targeting other countries.”
US President Joe Biden said that the concrete commitments by Quad leaders on a shared and positive agenda for free and open Indo-Pacific are making excellent progress. Speaking from the East Room of the White House, Biden announced a new Quad fellowship for students from each of our Quad countries to pursue advanced degrees in leading stem programs in the United States.
Calling for a free and open Indo-Pacific, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called the Quad a “very important initiative” by the four nations that believe in fundamental rights. “Till date, Quad has given its absolute cooperation in big sectors, be it regional challenges or Covid-19,” Suga said.
While none of the leaders named China in remarks to reporters, each one of them stressed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“We stand here together, in the Indo-Pacific region, a region that we wish to be always free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected, and where disputes are settled peacefully and accordance with international law,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
A six-month-old speech by President Xi Jinping on the need to preserve jobs and shore up growth was splashed across China's main financial newspapers on Monday, signaling greater urgency to bolster the economy after lockdowns brought Shanghai and other major cities to a halt. In the remarks, Xi voiced support for the “healthy development” of the private sector and entrepreneurs, but also warned that regulators must prevent “capital predators” from acting recklessly.
Most of Shanghai has stopped the spread of the coronavirus in the community and fewer than 1 million people remain under strict lockdown, authorities said Monday, as the city moves toward reopening and economic data showed the gloomy impact of China's “zero-COVID" policy. Vice Mayor Zong Ming said 15 out of Shanghai's 16 districts had eliminated virus transmission among those not already in quarantine.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the new prime minister of Sri Lanka who was sworn-in last Thursday, is likely to address the country on Monday, in what would be the first national address of his record sixth term as the island nation's premier. During the speech, Wickremesinghe will present the 'full picture' of Sri Lanka's current economic crisis, its worst since 1948 when it gained independence from British rule.
Shanghai aims to reopen broadly and allow normal life to resume from June 1, a city official said on Monday, after declaring that 15 of its 16 districts had eliminated cases outside quarantine areas. The city plans to gradually increase domestic flights and rail services, and from Monday will begin reopening supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies.
The United States witnessed two mass shootings within 48 hours, one of which was confirmed as racially motivated. In the Buffalo supermarket shooting, the gunman, identified as a white 18-year-old man, killed 10 and wounded three, most of them Black. On Sunday, a gunman went on a rampage at a church near Los Angeles, killing one and leaving four others in "critical" condition, as per the officials.