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To counter China’s assertiveness, Quad calls for ‘free’ and ‘open’ Indo-Pacific



To counter China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, India, the US, Japan and Australia’s collective alliance known as ‘Quad’ agreed to increase coordination for the creation of a free and open Indo-Pacific. 

Japan said the Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne affirmed bolstering a free, open and rules-based international order in a statement released after the meeting in Tokyo. 

Also read | At Quad FMs meet, Jaishankar calls for respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty

The four countries also vowed to coordinate in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, the statement said as was reported by Kyodo news agency. 

The ‘Quad’ meeting took place amid China’s growing expansionism ambitions in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea and in eastern Ladakh.

PM Suga in his address said a free and open Indo-Pacific is “widely recognised by the international community as a vision of peace and prosperity of this region,” and that his administration’s basic policy is to “further continue advancing our members to this end.”

“The international community is facing multiple and various challenges. This is exactly why right now is the time that we must further deepen our coordination with as many countries as possible that share our vision,” the Japanese PM said. 

India’s Jaishankar in his opening remarks said since all the members are vibrant and pluralistic democracy, they remain committed to “upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes.” 

“Our objective remains advancing the security and the economic interests of all countries having legitimate and vital interests in the region,” Jaishankar said.

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