After his bilateral talks with Biden, PM Modi will attend the first in-person Quad Summit hosted by the US President. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will also attend the summit. The Quad Summit aims to boost cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region amid China’s growing dominance in the area.
The Quad countries – Australia, India, Japan and the US – would announce a new working group on space, a supply chain initiative and a 5G deployment and diversification effort apart from discussing issues like challenges in the Indo Pacific, climate change and COVID-19 pandemic.
For the US, the Quad meeting marks another step to reviving an American focus on diplomatic efforts, following its dramatic exit from the 20-year Afghanistan war. And “the Biden administration understands that the challenges of the 21st century will largely play out in the Indo-Pacific,” a senior administration official, who asked not to be named, said adding, “We are doubling down on our efforts.”
Of the three regional groupings that Washington leads in its strategic chess game to manage China’s ascent, the Quad is deliberately the most open. The other two are the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance, comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the newest arrival on the block – AUKUS.
Earlier today, PM Modi held his first meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris, where the latter brought up Pakistan’s role in terrorism and asked Islamabad to take action so it does not impact America and India’s security.
PM Modi and Harris, who has Indian roots, discussed a range of issue, including Indo-US strategic partnership and global issues of common interest, including threats to democracy, Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific.
Before meeting Harris, PM Modi met his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in Washington. The meeting came a week after they spoke over phone and reviewed the rapid progress in the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including through the recent “two-plus-two” dialogue, and exchanged views on regional developments and the forthcoming Quad meeting.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister also met with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga. This was PM Modi’s first in-person meeting with Mr Suga after the latter took over the reins from Shinzo Abe in September last year.
PM Modi will conclude the US visit with an address at the United Nations General Assembly, focusing on global challenges including the pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues.