Japanese foreign affairs chief Toshimitsu Motegi, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne are set to meet in Tokyo in October to hold a QUAD security dialogue, reports stated. It will be the first cabinet-level meeting since March after the coronavirus outbreak.
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as QUAD, is an informal strategic forum between India, US, Japan, and Australia. The strategic alliance was formed to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and check China’s expansionist efforts in the region, which has become a major cause of concern for a rules-based order.
The final schedule for the dialogue, which was delayed due to change in leadership after Shinzo Abe’s resignation, has not been announced yet. According to Japanese media reports, a face-to-face meeting between the foreign ministers of the visiting nations and the newly-elected Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga are also being arranged.
The meet will be held at a time when all four members of the Quad have serious differences with China – India is engaged in a border standoff in Ladakh, the Australian government has pledged to halt projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Japan is worried about Chinese intrusions near the Senkaku Islands, and the US is engaged in a trade war.
The members of the Quad, especially India, Japan and Australia, have also stepped up work on forging partnerships with like-minded countries in the region, or those with interests in the Indian Ocean, with an eye on China’s increasing assertiveness and aggressiveness.
Indian External affairs minister S Jaishankar said last week India and Japan were looking at cooperating on projects in Bangladesh and Myanmar as part of their efforts to work together in third-party countries.