The Quadrilateral Axis Quad issued a statement today with a direct message against China from Japanese soil. A joint statement from India, the United States, Japan, and Australia stated that “for the sake of a free and independent Indo-Pacific region, Europe’s role here will be further enhanced.” Strongly condemning the escalation of tensions at sea, it said “unilateral action that changes the status quo will not be tolerated.”
In a word, in view of the current geostrategic situation, the two war alliances centered on the Indo-Pacific region have become clearer. On one side of which are some countries of Asia including America and Europe. China and Russia on the other hand. In his inaugural address to the Quad today, the US President also gave a strong message to Beijing. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said that “what happened in Ukraine should not happen in the Indo-Pacific region in any way.”
Newly-elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said “there has been a change of government in his country, but not a change in Australia’s commitment to the Quad and ASEAN states.” In the words of Narendra Modi, “The mutual trust and cooperation of the Quad countries is empowering to build a liberal, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. That is the common goal of all of us.”
Ahead of the quad meeting in Tokyo, China expressed its displeasure, saying the group was seeking to divide the Indo-Pacific region. This is just an American conspiracy to stop Beijing. But after today’s meeting, it is clear that the Joe Biden administration is working to include not only the United States, but also the ASEAN member states, Australia, and Europe, in the anti-China block.
“We are going through one of the darkest times in history,” Biden said in a scathing speech. “Once a Chinese leader asked why I keep talking about becoming an Indo-Pacific power. I said that because we are the Indo-Pacific power. An entire side of our country is the Pacific Ocean. We are by your side. As you may know, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, our administration announced its strategy for an open, independent, prosperous, secure Indo-Pacific.”
The Quad statement, which did not name China, said: “We welcome the European Union’s cooperation strategy in the Indo-Pacific region. We are committed to upholding international maritime law and maintaining freedom of navigation and air travel. We are ready to deal with any legal issues in the South China Sea. We strongly oppose unilateral provocative measures by force. The quad will strongly oppose measures such as escalating tensions in the region, mobilizing troops by creating controversy, violating the status quo, and using other countries’ coastal resources for their own purposes.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gifted some famous works of art from different parts of India to the heads of state of the quad group countries. On Tuesday, Union Minister Smriti Irani tweeted about the gifts Modi had given. He handed over some art forms of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to the state leaders.