News: Recently, the Prime Minister addressed the first summit of the leaders’ of the QUAD (Quadrilateral Framework). The meeting was hosted by the USA on a virtual platform. Earlier in February 2021, QUAD ministerial meeting discussed issues across Indo-Pacific and the military takeover in Myanmar. QUAD is a grouping of India, USA, Australia and Japan which aims to safeguard the interests of democratic nations in the Indo-Pacific region and address global challenges.
- Focus was on pressing crises, such as Covid-19, climate change and emerging technologies.
- QUAD pledged to promote a free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
Quad Vaccine Partnership:
- Agreed to ensure “equitable” access to vaccines to counter the pandemic.
- Agreed to a plan to pool their financial resources, manufacturing capabilities and logistical strengths.
- Japan, USA and Australia will financethe vaccine initiative that India has welcomed.
- Appreciated the Vaccine Maitri initiative (India’s Vaccine Diplomacy)of India.
- Vaccine Maitri Initiativeis an initiative launched by India to give Covid-19 vaccines to neighbouring countries.
Discussion on China and stands of all countries:
- The Line of Actual Control (LAC) was discussed by the QUAD leaders as one of several examples of Chinese aggression. Other issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan Strait and coercion of Australia, harassment around the Senkaku, were also discussed.
- Concerns regarding Chinese cyber attacks on the USA targets (Microsoft Exchange and SolarWinds) and also cybersecurity incidents in India, Japan and Australia were discussed.
- QUAD is united by its democratic values and will remain an important pillar of stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Called the meet an extension of the ancient Indian philosophy ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which regards the world as one family.
- QUAD is not a military alliance or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)equivalent, it is an opportunity to cooperate on economics, technology, climate and security. Maritime security, humanitarian and disaster response are core to the QUAD agenda. QUAD is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
- QUAD grouping could be the start of a new, permanent and powerful regional grouping of like-minded democracies.
- Acknowledged the new dynamism that QUAD has received because of the meeting of the top leaders of the member countries. It will firmly advance its cooperation to realise a free and open Indo Pacific, and to make a tangible contribution to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region, including overcoming Covid-19.
- Exchanges and cooperation between countries should contribute to mutual understanding rather than targeting a third party and refrain from pursuing exclusive blocs.
- A meeting between the top diplomats of the USA and China is set to be held in Alaska later in March 2021.
- QUAD should uphold the principles of openness, inclusiveness and win-win results and do things that are conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity.