Japan to hold Quad summit next year, Taiwan is the focus
Quad is a group of countries positioning itself as a check against China's growing aggression. 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".
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".