New Delhi: The Joint Statement issued at the end of the Quad Summit in Tokyo displayed an unequivocal unity of purpose among member nations – India, Japan, Australia and the US – on matters concerning China.
“The Quad is committed to cooperation with partners in the region who share the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific….We will champion adherence to international law, particularly as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the maintenance of freedom of navigation and overflight, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the East and South China Seas,” it said.
These are clear references to Beijing’s aggressive behaviours.
The Joint Statement further said – “We strongly oppose any coercive, provocative or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo and increase tensions in the area, such as the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities.”
US President Joe Biden said – “In a short time, we have shown the Quad isn’t just a passing fad. We mean business. We’re here to get things done for the region.”
He further stated, “I am proud of what we are building together. And I look forward to our vital partnership flourishing and for many years to come.”
The Joint Statement also stated – “Individually and collectively, we will further strengthen our cooperation with Pacific island countries, to enhance their economic well being, strengthen health infrastructure and environmental resilience, to improve their maritime security and sustain their fisheries, to provide sustainable infrastructure, to bolster educational opportunities, and to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.”
“We are committed to working together to address the needs of Pacific island partners. We reaffirmed our support for Pacific Islands Forum unity and for Pacific regional security frameworks,” it added.
In his remarks at the Quad Summit meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said -“Today the scope of Quad has become broader and the format has become effective. Our mutual trust, our determination, is giving new energy and enthusiasm to the democratic forces. Our mutual cooperation at the Quad level is giving a boost to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, which is the common objective of all of us.”