India Joins Quadrilateral Dialogue Meeting With US, Australia & Japan

Cheryl Sanders
November 14, 2017

Asked about China's view of the Indo-Pacific concept, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that peaceful development and win-win cooperation were the trends of the times.

The US had said it was looking at a "working-level" quadrilateral meeting in the near term with India, Japan and Australia. "This is the general concept and I think this kind of position applies to any proposal", he said.

Amid rising assertiveness of China in the South China Sea, India has come together with US, Australia, and Japan to cooperate and coordinate in the Indo-Pacific region.

The emerging quadrilateral is seen to counter China's aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road initiative.

"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.

In addition, the meeting also discussed the "common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region", according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

The US has been favouring a larger role for India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region.

India needed the help of USA and other countries to highlight the threat it faced from Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, said Lalit Mansingh, a former foreign secretary. 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".

Unlike the press-releases issued in Washington, Canberra and Tokyo; the one put out by the MEA in New Delhi carefully avoided certain phrases, which are often used in global diplomacy to needle China.

Indo-Pacific broadly refers to the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions, which also includes the disputed South China Sea where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei question China's claims over nearly the entire waterway.

Trump and his officials used the term repeatedly through his five-nation tour that concludes in Manila.

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".

"Promoting the stability and the development of the Asia Pacific region is the common responsibility of the regional countries".

Geng said China hoped "policies made and actions taken by relevant parties can correspond with the trend of the times, featuring peace, cooperation, friendship and development and be conducive to upholding regional peace, prosperity and stability". "It is also the trend of the world".

"All relevant parties can put forward their vision and proposal on how to develop cooperation between countries and regions".

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