Quad advancing a positive vision for future of Indo-Pacific region rooted in shared values: key US lawmakers
Washington: Some prominent American Congressmen have welcomed the recent meeting of foreign ministers from the US, India, Australia and Japan, saying the “critical partnership” of the Quad grouping was advancing a positive vision for the future of the strategic Indo-Pacific region rooted in shared values.
The foreign ministers of Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue last week met in Melbourne where they vowed to expand cooperation to keep the Indo-Pacific free from “coercion”, denounced the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism, assessed the Ukraine crisis and asserted that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were part of the Quad meeting on February 11.
“As the Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the Congressional Caucuses for Japan, Australia, and India, we take note of the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that took place in Melbourne, Australia,” said a Joint Statement issued by Co-Chairs of Congressional Japan, Australia, and India Caucuses, and HFAC Asia Subcommittee on Monday.
“As staunch supporters of closer relations between the United States and Japan, Australia, and India, we are pleased to see the further development of this critical partnership through last week’s ministerial meeting. We will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to assist in that development from Congress,” it said.
By advancing cooperation on COVID-19 vaccination delivery, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, the environment, maritime security, counter terrorism, cyber security, combating foreign disinformation campaigns and economic coercion, as well as standards for critical and emerging technologies, the Quad is advancing a positive vision for the future of the Indo-Pacific rooted in shared values and supported by the unique capabilities of the member countries, the statement said.
It noted that the last week’s Quad meeting builds upon the outcomes of the in-person leaders’ summit in September 2021.
The lawmakers hoped that the United States and the Quad will continue to engage other countries and multilateral organisations throughout the Indo-Pacific – including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which will continue to play a central role in American engagement with the region.
The joint statement was issued by Congressmen Joaquin Castro and Adrian Smith, the Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the US-Japan Congressional Caucus, Joe Courtney and Mike Gallagher, the House Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the Friends of Australia Congressional Caucus, and Brad Sherman and Steve Chabot, the Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans, and Ami Bera, chair of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation.
Separately, Congressman Steve Chabot tweeted that the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific is only strengthened when democratic partners seek to deepen their ties.
“As the Co-Chair of both the Taiwan and India Caucuses, I applaud this news. The rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific is only strengthened when democratic partners seek to deepen their ties,” Chabot tweeted.
The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that co-operation between Taiwan, India and the US is soaring to new heights on the back of expanded exchanges spanning a spectrum of areas benefiting humankind.
“We’re proud of the NextGen tie-up with @ISRO & @NASA in developing the INSPIRESat-1 microsatellite,” the Taiwanese foreign ministry said.
China views self-ruled Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
In November 2017, the US, Australia, India and Japan gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China’s growing military presence in the strategic region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. Beijing is also involved in a maritime dispute with Japan over the East China Sea.