India Joins Quadrilateral Dialogue Meeting With US, Australia & Japan

India Joins Quadrilateral Dialogue Meeting With US, Australia & Japan

The quadrilateral meeting of officials of the four countries in Manila - their leaders made a decision to have lower-level diplomats meet in a cautious beginning - has been followed closely by Beijing and strategic experts in China, coming on the heels of the Donald Trump administration rolling out an "Indo-Pacific" strategy that suggests a more broad approach to the region.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Manila to attend the Summit and is slated to meet all the counterparts of the Quadrilateral dialogue partners separately one by on the sidelines of the summit. Trump and top U.S. officials have been using the term Indo-Pacific more frequently than the phrase Asia-Pacific.

Japan said the meeting "discussed measures to ensure a free and open global 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 worldwide law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes".

Japan's foreign minister Taro Kono last month had said that Tokyo favours the quadrilateral dialogue to further boost strategic partnership among the four countries.

He was answering a spate of questions on the Indo-Pacific concept and the quadrilateral meeting held on Sunday at Manila.

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) Officials from India's Ministry of External Affairs, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and United State's Department of State met in Manila on Sunday for consultations on issues of common interest in the Indo-Pacific region, the Ministry of External Affairs said here on Sunday.

China has already reacted cautiously over the proposal by the Trump administration for a working-level quadrilateral meeting, saying Beijing hopes that it would not target or damage a "third party's interest".

The Indian side highlighted India's Act East Policy as the cornerstone of its engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. The officials exchanged views on addressing challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as well as on enhancing connectivity.

In its sharp reaction, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, "We hope the collaboration among relevant countries could comply with the trend of times, which refers to peace, development, cooperation and shared benefits, and conform to the prospect of. common security and development".

The emerging quadrilateral is seen to counter China's aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road initiative. "We will not be able to compete with the kind of terms that China offers, but countries have to decide: What are they willing to pay to secure their sovereignty and their future control of their economies And we've had those discussions with them, as well", he said. China's plans would cement a sphere of influence for Beijing well beyond Asia.