The "quad" nations of the Indo-Pacific's largest democracies, India, US, Japan, and Australia held a roundtable meeting to discuss China's growing activities for the first time at the ministerial level in New York on September 26. The Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, said the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo addressed the foreign ministers of Japan, India, and Australia on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. She said that the quad of nations reaffirmed their promises on shared values and cooperation on maritime security, connectivity, and infrastructure in support of the rule-based frameworks. They also discussed the steps to maintain and promote an open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region and agreed to conduct regular ministerial meetings. The discussion from the high-level official level talks resulted in strengthening the framework to improve the intelligence gathering and present a united front on regional security issues.
Today’s meeting of the JAI Trilateral was a productive one. We had extensive discussions on the Indo-Pacific region, improving connectivity and infrastructure development.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 28, 2019
Grateful to PM @AbeShinzo and President @realDonaldTrump for sharing their views as well. pic.twitter.com/FruUecBySB
China has been deepening its economic influence, military might, and diplomatic footprint in the Indo-Pacific region. The concept of the Quad reflects growing tensions Chinese President Xi Jinping's more complicated foreign policy. Along with Pompeo and Payne, the meeting was also attended by Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The Japanese foreign minister added that Quad's framework was not focused on any particular country and said China was one of the several nations that were talked about in the wide range of discussions.
He also said that the high-level officials from the four countries are expected to meet next in Bangkok in November on the occasion of the East Asian Summit. According to a national media agency, S. Jaishankar confirmed one of the topics to be taken up for discussion at the meeting would be Chinese oil in an exclusive economic zone of Vietnam. The Australian PM Scott Morrison said he views the 'quad' as an important strategy of architecture in the region which can help economically, militarily and strategically. The US and Australia are concerned about China's growing military base in the South Pacific region. The quad members aim to boost infrastructure projects that are well planned and financially stable.
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(With inputs from agencies)