India, Australia, US and Japan hold first 'quadrilateral' meeting

India Joins 'Quadrilateral' With Australia, Japan and US to Limit China's Intrusion

India Joins 'Quadrilateral' With Australia, Japan and US to Limit China's Intrusion

It also added that after China's B&R initiative, Japan has been actively competing with China for infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia and it jointly launched the Asia Africa Growth Corridor program with India covering the Asia-Pacific and African regions.

An article in "Global Times" pointed out that the Trump administration has proposed a new South Asia policy which aims to strengthen relations with India in order to increase United States influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

In his speech, Geng Shuang also mentioned, "US-brokered proposal of these countries to ensure free and open "Indo-Pacific"... should avoid politicising or excluding some relevant parties". The officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as well as on enhancing connectivity.

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In its statement, the Japanese foreign ministry said officials discussed measures to ensure a free and open worldwide order based on the rule of law in the Indo- Pacific. The communist country's territorial disputes with its maritime neighbours in East and South China Sea and its reluctance to resolve the disputes in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) often prompted the other nations, not only to criticize it for not adhering to the global laws, but also to call for "rules-based order" in Indo-Pacific.

The article further said that the introduction of the Indo-Pacific concept is a reaction on part of these countries to China's growing worldwide influence as a result of its Belt and Road (B&R) initiative.

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

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Beijing is been accused by US, Japan and other nations of undermining the "rules-based order" in Indo-Pacific. Sources said India's statement sought to connect the clandestine links between North Korea and Pakistan in the development of their nuclear programmes.

The MEA said, "The discussions focused on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners".

This has led to speculation that the new terminology may have something to do with Washington preparing the ground for the revival of the so-called Quadrilateral strategic alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India to counter China's rise.

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The US has been pitching for greater Indo-US cooperation in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region where China has been ramping up its military presence.

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