Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 5
Foreign Ministers of India, the US, Japan and Australia will meet in Tokyo on Tuesday to match Chinese threats and challenges in the areas of maritime and cyber security, critical technologies, infrastructure and counter-terrorism, besides discussing regional cooperation.
This second in-person interaction of Foreign Ministers was to take place in Delhi, but diplomats finally settled on Tokyo in suit US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s (now-truncated) visit to East Asia.
China has reacted adversely when this four-country “Quad” initiative was re-fired with a preparatory meeting of senior officials a fortnight ago. But its charge of formation of “exclusive clique” has been countered by pointing out that China too has invested in trilateral and quad groupings.
The US sees the Quad in stark terms. Senior US State Department official David Stilwell, who participated in the preparatory meeting of senior officials on September 25, said the Quad seeks to establish, promote and secure Indo-Pacific principles, “especially as China’s tactics, aggression and coercion increase in the region”.
New Japan PM Yoshihide Suga made his pecking order clear by putting Chinese President Xi Jinping seventh on his calling list after taking over from Shinzo Abe. He opted to first speak to leaders of the US, Germany, the UK, South Korea, Australia and India before putting in a call to Xi.
A day ahead of the Quad talks, Pompeo described the US-Japan relationship as the “cornerstone of peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific”.