By Ivan Maltsev
The leaders of the “Quartet” discussed some problems-from the fight against the pandemic and climate change to the supply of semiconductors.
On Friday afternoon, the White House hosted a summit of participants in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – the so-called “Quartet” (Quad). This regional Indo-Pacific group includes the United States, India, Japan, and Australia. Observers expect that during the summit, its leaders will be able to make progress in the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 and cooperate in the field of infrastructure and new technologies.
Beijing is closely following the first full-time summit of the “Quartet.” The Chinese authorities have previously stated that the plans of the “Quartet “are”doomed to failure.”
“We all live here together, in the Indo-Pacific region – a region that we want to see free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected and where disputes are resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking before the meeting.
Before the meetings, Biden informed his partners from the three states about the progress of the initiative to increase the production of vaccines, which was agreed during the virtual summit of the “Quartet” in March. According to Biden, “everything is going according to plan,” and an additional billion doses of vaccines will be produced in India.
Addressing his colleagues, Narendra Modi said that this initiative would be a great help for the countries of the Indo-Pacific region in the fight against the pandemic.
Joe Biden stressed that the participants of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue are four democracies that “know how to succeed” and are “ready to accept the challenge.” In turn, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that today’s meeting demonstrates full solidarity between the countries and confirms their commitment to maintaining “freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The Four countries previously planned that by the end of 2022, they would be able to deliver a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Asian countries. However, the plan stalled after India, the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, banned the export of vaccines in April this year amid a massive outbreak of coronavirus inside the country.
India is ready to resume the export of vaccines in October, giving priority to the international initiative to provide vaccines to developing countries (COVAX) and neighboring countries.
The Quartet leaders are expected to announce several new agreements, including strengthening semiconductor supply chains and combating poaching. According to a source in the U.S. administration, the parties will announce a partnership in the field of 5G technologies and plans for joint monitoring of climate change.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian criticized the Quad leaders ‘summit, calling the group a “closed clique” aimed at fighting with other countries. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry representative, today’s meeting “contradicts the trends of the time and the aspirations of the countries of the region. It will not find support and is doomed to failure.”
Yoshihide Suga, who will soon step down as the leader of Japan, will hold a separate meeting with Biden after the session of the “Quartet.”
Suga wants to discuss with Biden “recent attempts by other countries to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement potentially,” the White House official said, referring to China, whose authorities recently expressed a desire to join the regional trade pact.