Biden to attend first meeting of Quad leaders this monthLast updated on Mar 05, 2021, 02:37 pm
The leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad will reportedly hold their first summit virtually this month.
United States President Joe Biden, who took office in January, will also attend the summit.
The Quad countries include Australia, India, Japan, and the US. The grouping aims to counter China's rising influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Here are more details.
Virtual summit likely on March 12
People familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times that the virtual summit is expected to be held on March 12. However, there is no official confirmation of the same.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Friday that he had discussed the matter with Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japan PM Yoshihide Suga in recent conversations.
'First-ever such gathering'
When asked if he had received an invitation for the meeting, Morrison told reporters, "I am looking forward to that first gathering of the Quad leaders. It will be the first-ever such gathering."
He said the four Quad leaders are looking forward to the first virtual summit and follow-up face-to-face meetings.
The Quad will benefit the ASEAN by ensuring their sovereignty, he added.
'Not going to be a big bureaucracy with big secretariat'
Morrison said, "This will become a feature of Indo-Pacific engagement but it's not going to be a big bureaucracy with a big secretariat and those sort of things."
"It will be four leaders, four countries working together constructively for the peace, prosperity, and stability of the Indo-Pacific, which is good for everyone in the Indo-Pacific," he added.
Chinese officials compare Quad to 'mini NATO'
The US had taken the lead in organizing the third meeting of Quad Foreign Ministers on February 18.
The meeting had reiterated the Quad's commitment to a rules-based world order backed by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Chinese officials have compared the Quad to a "mini NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)" and said its activities are aimed at targeting third parties.