Quadrilateral Coalition on the Indo-Pacific

Dr Subhash Chandra

Global summit on Indo Pacific development

The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi issued a press-release after the diplomats of India, Japan, US and China met in Manila on Sunday.

By Nirendra DevManila, Nov 12 (UNI) The high-profile ASEAN Business Summit slated to take place in the Philippines capital on Monday and to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go a long way into strengthening economic partnerships and is likely to take initiatives at reducing non-tariff barriers and at ensuring better connectivity and mobility of people and goods. Asked about China's view of the Indo-Pacific concept, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that peaceful development and win-win cooperation were the trends of the times.

The quadrilateral meeting of officials of the four countries in Manila - their leaders chose to have lower-level diplomats meet in a cautious beginning - has been followed closely by Beijing and strategic experts in China, coming on the heels of the Donald Trump administration rolling out an "Indo-Pacific" strategy that suggests a more broad approach to the region.

In its statement, the Japanese foreign ministry said officials discussed measures to ensure a free and open worldwide order based on the rule of law in the Indo- Pacific.

On Sunday, meeting between the officials of the four countries which form the Quadrilateral dialogue partners agreed that a "free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large".

"The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address shared challenges in the region".

The meeting also deliberated on enhancing cooperation in dealing with challenges of terrorism and talked about tackling proliferation threats, including North Korea's nuclear and missile programme.

The US State Department stated that the officials had "examined ways to achieve common goals and address common challenges in the region, such as: upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for global law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes". Canberra's statement also named North Korea and said that officials agreed to work together to address threats to worldwide peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including the DPRK's nuclear and missile programmes.

It said the four countries committed to continuing the quadrilateral discussions and deepening cooperation on the basis of shared values and principles.

Officials of India, Australia, the U.S. and Japan held the first quadrilateral (Quad) meeting on Sunday to boost cooperation and combat China's unilateral assertiveness in the region.

The Indian team consisted of the Joint Secretary in charge of the East Asia division in the MEA, Pranay Verma, and the Joint Secretary in charge of the South division in the MEA, Vinay Kumar.

It was the first dialogue of the quadrilateral formation of the democracies in which anti-terrorism cooperation was also discussed.

"Let's be clear that there is a growing anxiety in the Indo-Pacific with Chinese assertiveness, further complicated by the uncertainty over US's role in the region".

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