Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 19
Senior officials from the Quad countries have discussed practical ways to cooperate on countering disinformation, an area that is part of a renewed focus by NATO as well.
Readouts from foreign offices of the four participating countries suggest that discussions covered a wider range of topics such as critical minerals, the Mekong countries, North Korea and East China Sea. The Quad is also discussing joint disaster relief exercises and coordination in the distribution of Covid vaccines.
During their virtual meeting on Friday, diplomats from India, Australia, Japan and the US also discussed strengthening supply chain resiliency and coordinating efforts to support countries “vulnerable to malign and coercive economic actions” in the Indo-Pacific region, said a US State Department readout. The NATO recently stepped up its approach to countering disinformation where it has also spoken of China’s “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy and the need to counter its claim of being a responsible global leader with a superior governance model.
The Indian readout outlined cooperation in two broad subsets: connectivity and infrastructure development, and security issues (counter-terrorism, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian and disaster relief). The Australian readout, besides going over the ground covered by the MEA and US State Department, mentioned the “Mekong sub-region”, comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as maritime security, cyber and critical technology and critical minerals.