Quad leaders agree to cooperate in infrastructure, space
WASHINGTON — The leaders of Japan, Australia, India and the United States held the first in-person Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) summit in Washington on Friday, during which they agreed to work together in areas such as infrastructure development and space to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”
According to a joint statement released after the summit, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to hold summit talks every year under the Quad framework.
At Friday’s meeting, which lasted about two hours and 20 minutes, Suga stressed the importance of the framework. “The Quad is an extremely significant initiative to realize a free and open international order in the Indo-Pacific region based on the rule of law,” Suga said.
Biden also stressed the significance of the “group meeting of democratic partners who share a world view and have a common vision for the future, coming together to take on key challenges of our age.”
Morrison said, “I’m in no doubt that together our four nations multiply many times over the forces of hope for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” while Modi said the Quad “will play the role of a force for global good.”
In the joint statement, the Quad leaders reaffirmed support for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, and territorial integrity of states, and while avoiding naming names, they warned against China’s maritime expansion.
The statement also included plans for the four countries to cooperate in infrastructure development, cybersecurity and space with a focus on sharing satellite data. The statement referred to joint efforts in the deployment of secure fifth-generation (5G) communications standards and the monitoring of biotechnology.
Regarding Afghanistan, the four leaders called on the Taliban to secure the safety of people wishing to leave the country.
According to a senior Japanese government official, Suga expressed serious concern about attempts to change the status quo by coercion in the South and East China seas.
Regarding North Korean missile launches, he strongly condemned the act as a “clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.” The four leaders confirmed their commitment to realizing the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
The four-way alliance, which was initially proposed by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, held its first foreign ministers’ meeting in September 2019. The Biden administration, which was inaugurated in January this year, has placed the Quad as the core of its Indo-Pacific strategy. The group held its first online summit in March.
“The Japan-initiated alliance with the United States, Australia and India has been launched fully,” Suga told reporters after the summit on Friday. “The meeting was very meaningful for the further development of the partnership.”