Japan to hold Quad summit next year, Taiwan is the focus
Japan has agreed to host a meeting of the Quad next year - the second in-person meeting of the group - the White House's Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Friday. The four-nation group, technically called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, comprises of the United States, India, Australia and Japan.
It is a bloc of countries positioning itself as a check against China's growing aggression in the Indo-Pacific and outside.
Speaking at an event of Washington-based think tank US Institute of Peace, Campbell did not explain in detail the type of Quad meeting to be hosted by Japan in 2022. However, Japan Times reported that it could be held as early as next spring.
Campbell also said that India is a "critical and crucial" member of the Quad and that Washington is determined to build relations with New Delhi. "I'm very bullish about the future with India. I think we all recognise that the critical, crucial member in the Quad is India," Campbell said at the event.
He added that India will be a key fulcrum player on the global stage in the 21st century and along with Vietnam and a few others, tops the list of critical countries that will define the future of Asia.
Talking about China, the White House official said that the United States' expanded cooperation with partners is causing China "heartburn" and Chinese President Xi Jinping made clear to President Joe Biden in a virtual meeting on Monday that Washington's work to bolster ties with allies represented Cold War thinking.
The announcement about Quad meeting coincided with a State Department statement that the US will hold a session of an economic dialogue with Taiwan in the face of increasing pressure on the island from China. The State Department said that US under secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, Jose Fernandez, will lead the second US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue on Monday.
This is a part of increased US engagement with Taipei to the anger of Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own.
If the Quad summit takes place, it will be the first time for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office in October, to attend such the gathering, and will give a chance to Joe Biden to make his first visit to Japan as US President, Japan Times reported, quoting sources.
The first in-person Quad summit was held in Washington in September this year, where leaders of the four countries committed to a "free and open Indo-Pacific".
The UN Security Council was to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the situation in Gaza, where a truce is holding between Islamic Jihad militants and Israel after three days of deadly conflict. China, which holds the presidency of the Security Council in August, announced the emergency meeting on Saturday, with Ambassador Zhang Jun expressing his concern over Gaza's worst fighting since an 11-day war last year.
France was in the midst of its fourth heat wave of the year Monday as the country faces what the government warned is its worst drought on record. Read US Senate poised to pass Biden's cornerstone climate and health bill The high temperatures aren't helping firefighters battling a wildfire in the Chartreuse Mountains, near the Alps in eastern France, where authorities have evacuated around 140 people.
The race to elect a new Conservative Party leader, who will take charge as British Prime Minister early next month, heated up on Monday as the two finalists – Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss – clashed over their proposals to tackle the soaring cost-of-living crisis across the country. While Truss has pledged immediate tax cuts if elected, Sunak has promised more targeted support for the most vulnerable households and tax cuts further down the line.
China on Monday described as “senseless” India's opposition to the docking of a Chinese ship at a Sri Lankan port, saying “relevant” countries should stop disturbing normal exchanges between Beijing and Colombo. China's Yuan Wang 5, a space and satellite tracking vessel, was allowed by Colombo last month to dock at the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota between August 11 and 17, raising security concerns in New Delhi.
The draft for an anti-child marriage bill has been pending before the Balochistan Assembly for the last eight years, a legislator briefed the consultation meeting on the issue of child marriage. A politician from the National Party, Shama Ishaq, said that the delay was due to hurdles created by certain quarters. The session was presided over by Balochistan's Parliamentary Secretary on Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology, Rubaba Khan Buledi.