Tokyo, May 24 (EFE).- The leaders of the Quad strategic security alliance made up of Japan, the United States, Australia and India, met in Tokyo on Tuesday to reaffirm their commitment to the “status quo” in the Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
The second in-person summit of the leaders is the first to be organized by Japan, which has been highly critical of China’s increased military activities in the region, North Korea’s weapons development – which it views as a threat – and a territorial dispute with Russia over the Kuril Islands, to the north of its territory.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was accompanied on Tuesday by US President Joe Biden, who sent a strong message to China the previous day about the consequences of a possible attack on Taiwan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s new prime minister Anthony Albanese, who makes his diplomatic debut after his win in the recent general election.
Kishida received the leaders at the Kantei, the prime minister’s residence and office, where they posed for photos ahead of the quadrilateral meeting.
The leaders are expected to issue a joint statement in the next few hours and Kishida will appear before the media.
The Quad alliance, which seeks to establish itself as a counterweight to Beijing’s growing influence in the region, has been promoting cooperation in Covid-19 vaccination, infrastructure development, climate change and technology.
In addition to discussing the progress made in common projects, the Quad is also expected to send out a message of respect for the sovereignty and integrity of nations, including Ukraine, whose situation has raised concerns about a possibly similar conflict in the region.
It is believed that China is following the development of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the response of other powers with the aim of outlining its own strategy towards Taiwan, which the Asian giant considers a rebel province of the country with which it must reunify. It has not ruled out the use of force to achieve this.
Some analysts believe the group could refrain from explicitly mentioning Russia in the text, in consideration of the country’s relationship with India, which has refrained from condemning the Russian invasion or imposing sanctions on Moscow over the conflict.
Beijing has increased its military activities in disputed areas of the East China Sea and the South China Sea, so the declaration is expected to also address maritime challenges, including illegal fishing and other illegal activities, and seek greater coordination to tackle them. EFE