India, Australia, Japan and the United States on Friday pledged to work together to secure Indo-Pacific and world peace and prosperity, as top leaders of the Quad Group announced a series of new initiatives to meet common challenges, amid muscle flexion by an assertive China in the strategic region.
In a way, Quad would play the role of “Force for Global Good,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his brief speech and exuded confidence that this cooperation of the four democracies will ensure peace and prosperity in the region. Indo-Pacific and the world. .
Prime Minister Modi was the first leader invited by Host President Joe Biden to address the first Quad rally in person in the East Room of the White House. Biden, who earlier today had a meeting of over an hour with Prime Minister Modi, described the Prime Minister as “my friend”.
Opening the summit, President Biden said the four democracies have come together to address common Covid climate challenges. “This group has democratic partners who share worldviews and have a common vision for the future,” he said.
“When we met six months ago, we made a concrete commitment to move our common positive agenda forward for free and to open the session. Today we are proud to say that we are making progress,” said President Biden . Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Japanese counterpart Suga were the other two leaders of the historic East Room.
The vaccine initiative is on track, Biden said, adding that the Quad is taking action on climate change with a new zero-emission transportation partnership.
“Today we are also launching a new quad scholarship for students from each of our five countries to pursue graduate studies in major science, technological engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs in the United States,” President Biden said.
The four countries have a long history of cooperation. “We know how to get things done. And we are up to the challenge,” Biden said.
Thanking Biden for his initiative to host this first-ever historic Quad Summit in person, Prime Minister Modi said the four countries first came together in 2004 to lend their support to the Indo-Pacific region. “Today, as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, we come together again as a Quad and work for the benefit of humanity,” he said.
The Quad vaccine initiative will bring great help to countries in the Indo-Pacific region, he said.
“Based on our shared democratic values, Quad has decided to move forward with positive thinking,” he said.
Whether it’s supply chain or security, whether it’s climate action or the COVID response, or cooperation in the field of technology, Modi said he would be very happy to talk to leaders at the meeting.
Australian Prime Minister Morrison said the Indo-Pacific region should be free from coercion and disputes should be resolved in accordance with international law, in a veiled reference to China.
“We believe in a free and open Indo-Pacific because we know that the limits are a strong, stable and prosperous freedom to realize their hopes and dreams of living in a free and liberal society,” he said.
Quad, he said, aims to demonstrate how a democracy like this gets things done, it can handle big challenges in a very complex and changing world.
Observing that there is no part of the world that is more vibrant than the Indo-Pacific right now, a region that has extraordinary opportunities, Morrison said there are many challenges that need to be overcome.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga, like the three other leaders, stressed the importance of the first-ever Quad Summit in person, saying that “this event demonstrates strong solidarity between our four nations and an unwavering commitment to an Indo-Pacific free and open ”.
“It gives me great pleasure to discuss with my friends a wide variety of topics, from supply chains to global security, from climate action to the COVID response, to cooperation in the field of technology. A Quad, in meaning, will play the role of a force for global good. I am convinced that our cooperation, under Quad, will ensure prosperity and peace in the Indo-Pacific and in the world, “Prime Minister Modi said.
Ahead of the summit, the White House said Quad executives would announce a new space task force, supply chain initiative and 5G deployment and diversification effort in addition to discussing issues such as the challenges in the Indo-Pacific, climate change and COVID-19 pandemic during their historic meeting.