India Joins 'Quadrilateral' With Australia, Japan and U.S. to Limit China's Intrusion

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The top items at the quadrilateral dialogue yesterday included ways of maintaining the "rules based order" in the Indo-Pacific theatre, a review of the happenings in Indo-Pacific and North Korea.

The White House said the two leaders discussed the comprehensive strategic partnership between the U.S. and India and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Explaining its rationale, the article pointed out that though Australia always held an ambiguous attitude toward China and the U.S., it hopes to expand its influence in the Indo-Pacific region by utilizing the protection of the U.S. but is also reluctant to give up the enormous economic interests of trading with China.

Terming Donald Trump a "commercially minded" president, the article said that he is likely unwilling to assume more responsibility for the economy and security of its allies. "This includes upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and respect for global law, freedom of navigation and overflight, increase connectivity", it said.

The meeting, held a day before the ASEAN summit begins in the Philippines capital, also discussed the "common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region", according to the Ministry of External Affairs. "I will also have interactions with other Asean and East Asia Summit leaders". The US has been favouring a larger role for India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking at a gathering of CEOs on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang, President Trump cited India as one of the countries in the Indo-Pacific region making strides.

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

It said the four countries committed to continuing the quadrilateral discussions and deepening cooperation on the basis of shared values and principles.

Modi on Sunday tonight held separate pull-aside meetings with US President Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of a gala dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN.

Asked whether the formation of India-Australia-the US- Japan quadrilateral was discussed, Jaishankar said there was a passing mention of it, adding that the meeting of the officials of the four countries was part of diplomacy. Joint Secretary (South division) in the MEA, Vinay Kumar and Joint Secretary (East Asia) Pranay Verma attended the meeting.

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