India, Australia, US and Japan hold first 'quadrilateral' meeting
13 November, 2017, 20:47 | Author: Valerie Burke
With an eye on China's activities in the region, India said that the first meeting of its officials with those from the US, Australia and Japan - described as the "quadrilateral" - 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".
He added, "From China's persistent foreign policy, we welcome the development of friendly cooperation between the relevant countries and we hope this kind of relations is not directed against any third party and we hope this kind of relations will be conducive to the regional peace and stability".
It was the first dialogue of the quadrilateral formation of the democracies in which anti-terrorism cooperation was also discussed.
The brief interaction between Modi and Trump came ahead of their scheduled bilateral meeting tomorrow.
Officials from India, Australia, the U.S. and Japan met here today and discussed issues relating to cooperation the Indo-Pacific region, seen as a first move to set up a quadrilateral grouping to pursue common interests amidst growing assertiveness by the Chinese military in the strategically key region.
The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address shared challenges in the region.
Political analysts say that with growing anxiety in the Indo-Pacific with Chinese assertiveness, further complicated by the uncertainty over US's role in the region, it is not surprising that the quadrilateral dialogue has been revived. Trump and his team have given it fresh currency in recent days, starting during stops in Tokyo and Seoul, building on the rhetoric of his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who last month talked of the need to support a "free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific".
The initiative is also significant as India had boycotted the OBOR summit in Beijing on the grounds that connectivity projects can not be unilateral initiatives, must respect sovereignty and have transparent funding. The communist country's territorial disputes with its maritime neighbours in East and South China Sea and its reluctance to resolve the disputes in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) often prompted the other nations, not only to criticize it for not adhering to the global laws, but also to call for "rules-based order" in Indo-Pacific.
By Nirendra DevManila, Nov 12 (UNI) The high-profile ASEAN Business Summit slated to take place in the Philippines capital on Monday and to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go a long way into strengthening economic partnerships and is likely to take initiatives at reducing non-tariff barriers and at ensuring better connectivity and mobility of people and goods. The RCEP, comprising 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand - is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.
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