NEW DELHI: Quad leaders joined hands to write an opinion piece in The Washington Post, where they reiterated that the four nations were committed to a free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Jointly penned by US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga and PM Narendra Modi, the article in an apparent reference to China said their shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region has been increasingly tested and this has strengthened their resolve to face the most urgent of global challenges together.
The article was published days after the first summit of Quad leaders was held virtually, where the leaders discussed issues like climate change, Indo-Pacific region, the LAC situation and also rolled out a Covid-19 vaccine initiative where the four nations will work to increase the manufacturing capacity of India to 1 billion doses by the end of 2022.
The Quad grouping is perceived to be a counter to China’s growing influence and assertiveness in the region, especially the South and East China Seas.
“In this new age of interconnection and opportunity throughout the Indo-Pacific, we are again summoned to act together in support of a region in need. The governments of India, Japan, the US and Australia have worked closely for years, and Friday, for the first time in the Quad history, they convened as leaders to advance meaningful cooperation at the highest level,” the leaders wrote.
They recalled that the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami caused the origin of the Quad.
“With millions displaced and hundreds of thousands killed, the Indo-Pacific region sounded a clarion call for help. Together, our four countries answered it. This Quad became a diplomatic dialogue in 2007 and was reborn in 2017,” the leaders said.
Saying that the pandemic was one of the ‘greatest risks to health and economic stability’, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to health and safety of people.
“We are determined to end the pandemic because no country will be safe so long as the pandemic continues,” they said.