Quad initiatives expected to gather pace after summit meeting in Washington

Washington [US]: With Quad working on several initiatives including on climate change, infrastructure and new and emerging technologies, the first in-person leaders’ summit of US, India, Japan and Australia on Friday is expected to promote the forward looking-agenda to meet the requirements of Indo-Pacific region.
US President Joe Biden will host the meeting which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The four-nation grouping has a vision for a free, open, transparent and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
Before the Quad summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with Biden. Having had bilateral meetings with Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga on Thursday, PM Modi will have done bilaterals with the other three members of Quad before the Summit meeting.
The Prime Minister is accompanied by a high-level delegation including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla in his visit to the US.
China is opposed to the Quad and has earlier termed the grouping as an “Asian NATO”.
China’s increased aggression in the South China Sea is aggravating regional tension. China’s unilateral claim on the Nine-Dash Line in the South China Sea; rapid warship building its first overseas base in Djibouti; and its surface and subsurface activities in the Indian Ocean beyond the Malacca Straits have alarmed regional countries.
The issue of China as a “very major global player” came up during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s discussions with his counterparts from Australia and Japan in bilateral meetings on Thursday.
A US official had said that hosting the Quad Summit is a demonstration of the priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations designed to focus on 21st-century challenges.
The first-ever virtual summit of Quad leaders was held in March this year.
The agenda of Quad also includes the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the Indo Pacific region and boosting maritime security.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Washington on Wednesday on his significant US visit. This is his first visit outside the neighbourhood since the outbreak of COVID-19.

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