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In backdrop of India-China border standoff, Quad to meet in Tokyo on Oct 6

TOKYO: The foreign ministers of the four-member nations of the 'Quad' will hold talks in Tokyo next month to further boost their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

India, Japan, Australia and the US have been coordinating a joint approach on "free, open, prosperous and inclusive" Indo-Pacific region, based on shared values and principles and respect for international law.

This grouping is seen as a response to China's growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

In the agenda of Quad talks are maritime security, counter-terrorism, connectivity and infrastructure development with the objective of promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The talks between representatives of the democracies referred as Quad will be the first ministerial-level multiparty conference hosted by Tokyo since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and following their meeting in New York in September last year on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

"It is timely that foreign ministers of the four nations who share the same ambitions over regional matters exchange views over various challenges," Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a news conference, adding he intends to hold bilateral talks with each of his counterparts as quoted by Japanese media.

China is meddling in territorial sovereignty whether it is the South China Sea or prolonged border standoff with India. India-China border dispute is still on the boil despite several rounds of diplomatic and military talks. China refuses to go back to the status quo and complete disengagement.

The Quad meeting is expected to be focussed on strategic and security challenges in the region and joint strategy is also to be discussed, although security and strategy will be the key focus. The meeting may also give an opportunity to the like-minded countries to discuss and improvise on global supply chains. Yesterday Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that over-dependence on a single source is risky for global supply chain.

Japan and India had recently signed a military pact enabling them to exchange supplies and logistical support.

Collaboration in coronavirus vaccine development and response to COVID-19 are also expected to be discussed in the meet.

 

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