China hopes Quad meet at Asean summit not directed against it

Dr Subhash Chandra

Global summit on Indo Pacific development

"The two leaders discussed the comprehensive strategic partnership between the United States and India and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region", it added.

Japan said the meeting "discussed measures to ensure a free and open worldwide order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific", while the United States said "the officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address common challenges in the region, such as upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for global law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes".

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.

Kono said the idea was for the leaders of the four countries to promote free trade and defence cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and all the way to Africa. "We hope the policies made and the action taken by the relevant parties can correspond with the trend of times featuring, peace, cooperation, friendship and development and can be conducive to upholding peace, prosperity and stability", he said.

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Japan's foreign ministry said they discussed measures to ensure a "free and open worldwide order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific".

Addressing a group of CEOs on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Friday, Trump cited India as one of the countries in the "Indo-Pacific region making strides".

"From this perspective, the participants discussed the direction for cooperation, including with countries in the region, in upholding the rules-based order and respect for worldwide law in the Indo-Pacific", it said.

"The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address shared challenges in the region".

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The external affairs ministry said the discussions focused on cooperation based on converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region.

Skirting any direct response to the first quadrilateral meeting of India, US, Japan and Australia, China on Monday questioned its exclusion from the group and expressed hope that the new concept of "Indo-Pacific" is not directed against it.

The participants committed to continuing quadrilateral discussions and deepening cooperation on the basis of shared values and principles. American officials earlier said the new term "Indo- Pacific" replacing Asia Pacific captures the importance of the rise of India with which the USA has strong and growing ties. Joint Secretary (South division) in the MEA, Vinay Kumar and Joint Secretary (East Asia) Pranay Verma attended the meeting.

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