President Joe Biden defended Friday that it is “essential” to keep the India-Pacific region “free and open” in the face of China’s advances, during a virtual summit with the leaders of India, Australia and Japan.
“A free and open Indo-Pacific is essential. The United States is committed to working with you and all of our allies in the region to achieve stability,” Biden stated at a Biden News Conference today, with the Prime Ministers of Japan Yoshihide Suga, Australia’s Scott Morrison and India’s Narendra Modi.
Biden also stated, together with the U.S., these three countries form the so-called “Quad”, an alliance created in 2007 in response to China’s military boom. “Relief is here,” President Biden rejoiced the endorsement of the incentive package.
This Friday was the first meeting of the heads of government of these four countries since the group’s creation, in a sign of the importance that the White House gives to what Joe Biden has described as a “long-term strategic competition” with China.
“The Quad is going to be vital for our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” said Joe Biden, assuring that the group is focused on achieving “practical solutions”.
As was the case with Joe Biden’s meetings with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, the meeting took place in virtual format due to the COVID-19 crisis, and U.S. President Joe Biden communicated with his counterparts in the other three countries through giant screens installed in the State Dining Room of the White House.
The meeting served as a prelude to the first meeting that Joe Biden plans to hold in-person since he came to power in January, which will take place in April at the White House and will be with the Japanese prime minister, the Japanese government announced on Friday.
In addition to coordinating positions on China, the Quad is expected to announce a financing agreement to increase India’s capacity to produce COVID-19 vaccines and address the challenges posed by the climate crisis, the president stated at a Biden News Conference Today.
The meeting came less than a week before the U.S. and China are in Alaska to participate in their first official meeting of the Joe Biden era. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the national security adviser of Joe Biden will participate.
The Biden News Conference, which will take place on 18 March, will be attended by the head of the Communist Party of China (CPC) for Foreign Affairs, Yang Jiechi, and Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi.