New Delhi: The Quad has come of age and its agenda covering areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies makes it a force for global good, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the first summit on March 12 of the Quadrilateral alliance of America, India, Japan and Australia.
In his opening remarks, he also talked about shared values and promoting a secure, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific. “We are united by our democratic values, and our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Our agenda today covering areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies makes the Quad a force for global good,” he said.
The virtual summit was attended by US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga. “I see this positive vision as an extension of India’s ancient philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which regards the world as one family,” Modi said. “We will work together, closer than ever before for advancing our shared values and promoting a secure, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
In his opening remarks, President Joe Biden said a “free and open Indo-Pacific is essential” to all and the US was committed to working with its partners and allies in the region to achieve stability . Biden also described Quad as a new mechanism to enhance cooperation and raise mutual ambition as the member states address accelerating climate change. “A free and open Indo-Pacific is essential to each of our futures, our countries,” Biden told the top leaders of the Quadrilateral alliance, which has been often projected in the Chinese official media as an alliance against China’s rise. “This is a group particularly important because it is dedicated to the practical solutions and concrete results,” he said at the virtual summit, which is the first conclave of the top leaders of the Quad.
Australian PM Scott Morrison thanked Biden for bringing the four nations together and said that “’history teaches us that we are nations engaged together in a partnership of strategic trust of common hope and shared values, much can be achieved.’” Stating that it will be the Indo-Pacific which will now shape the destiny of the world in the 21st century, he said “as leaders of four great liberal democracies in Indo-Pacific let our partnership be the enabler of peace, stability and prosperity.”
Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga recalled the 2004 Tsunami disaster when Quad first member states came together. “We received massive support from the US, Australia, and India in our response to the disaster. Joe visited the affected area soon after the disaster, and I think you once again,” he said.
Earlier in the day, China had said that state-to-state exchanges and cooperation should enhance mutual understanding and trust instead of “targeting” or “undermining” the interests of any third party and hoped that relevant countries will refrain from forming “exclusive cliques”.