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Four country "Quad" summit to be held in Japan this May

Four country Quad summit to be held in Japan this May

The four-country Quad summit consisting of the USA, India, Japan and Australia will be held this year in May at the behest of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida the latter announced after a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden on Friday.

The meeting will presumably take place after the Australian elections according to a Business Standard report.

The last Quad summit, held in September 2021, was focused on Covid-19 combat measures, climate change and space exploration and cooperation ventures. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also remarked that the summit would be crucial to ties between countries in the Indo-Pacific.

During his meeting with Biden, the Japanese PM was assured of US backing in its defense of the Senkaku Islands against Chinese incursion as well as increased defence spending. Further cooperation between Australia, France and New Zealand with regards to humanitarian aid was also discussed.

With an aggressive China making inroads into Taiwanese territory and building 'Fortress Tibet' in the background, both US and Japan have agreed on a economic dialogue in two plus two format with focus on building global supply chains not dependent on China, a Hindustan Times report said.

This decision to intensify economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific also dovetails into the Quad's vision for alternate supply chains with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison facing adverse trade relations with China on account of mounting trade deficit and high tariff sanctions respectively.

With the threat of Russian incursion of Ukraine hovering over Europe and Houthi rebel attacks on the UAE, politics is at the forefront of the Quad summit as well as issues of the resurgent wave of Omicron infections, economic recovery and clean energy.

While there will be no further admission into Quad grouping, all the participating nations identify the centrality of ASEAN countries in tackling Indo-Pacific and intensification of engagement with Indonesia has already started in a effort for an open Indo-Pacific. India has already opened dialogue with Indonesia and talks are ongoing over proposed supply of BrahMOS supersonic land attack missiles to the country.

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