India Joins 'Quadrilateral' With Australia, Japan and USA to Limit China's Intrusion
15 November, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Brenda Erickson
India, Australia and Japan also issued separate statements listing the Indo-Pacific as the major area of the deliberations and resolved to expand cooperation to uphold a rules-based order and respect for worldwide law in the strategically important region.
It is learnt that China's rising military presence in the South China Sea figured in talks between Modi and Trump apart from a host of other regional and global issues, including terrorism emanating from Pakistan, North Korea's missile tests, situation in Afghanistan and the Gulf region as well as outcome of violence in Myanmar's Rakhaine state.
"They agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large". The DFAT of Australia and MoFA of Japan too noted in their read-outs that the diplomats explored ways to uphold rules-based order in Indo-Pacific and respect for worldwide law.
Modi was also seen chit-chatting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the reception for the leaders who have arrived here for the 31st ASEAN summit and related meetings. "The officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as well as on enhancing connectivity", the MEA said.
Beijing is been accused by US, Japan and other nations of undermining the "rules-based order" in Indo-Pacific.
New Delhi, however, dropped the call for "rules-based order" in Indo-Pacific and the "respect for worldwide law" in its press-release issued after the first quad meeting on Sunday. Sources said India's statement sought to connect the clandestine links between North Korea and Pakistan in the development of their nuclear programmes.
It said the four countries committed to continuing the quadrilateral discussions and deepening cooperation on the basis of shared values and principles.
It is visible that from some time now, the president of United States, Donald Trump has been using the term "Indo-Pacific" instead of Asia-Pacific, which is his signal that India is more important to the U.S. when it comes to choosing between India and China.
Asked whether the formation of India-Australia-the US- Japan quadrilateral was discussed, Jaishankar said there was a passing mention of it, adding that the meeting of the officials of the four countries was part of diplomacy.
"From the Asia-Pacific to the Indo-Pacific, indicates an extension of the US' Asian policy direction". Joint Secretary (South division) in the MEA, Vinay Kumar and Joint Secretary (East Asia) Pranay Verma attended the meeting.
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