President Joe Biden has said a key component of advancing American interests and upholding our universal values is “working in common cause with our closest allies and partners.”
Toward that end, senior officials from the United States, Australia, India, and Japan met virtually for consultations on August 12. The eighth round of consultations built on the historic discussions held between President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during the inaugural Quad Leaders Summit held March 12, 2021.
The Quad is made up of four like-minded democracies who come together, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “to work cooperatively on issues and matters that are going to affect the lives of citizens in all our countries and indeed, in the Indo-Pacific as a whole. And beneath that is the conviction that the Indo-Pacific needs to remain a free and open region.”
In a statement, the U.S. State Department noted that during the August 12 meeting, the four democracies “acknowledged that global security and prosperity depends on the region remaining inclusive, resilient and healthy.” They discussed the importance of sustained international cooperation to end the COVID-19 pandemic in the Indo-Pacific and to promote economic recovery.
“The officials examined ways to advance ongoing cooperation on numerous topics of mutual interest,” the State Department said, “including strategic challenges confronting the region, countering disinformation, promoting democracy and human rights, strengthening international institutions including the United Nations and related organizations, and supporting countries vulnerable to coercive actions in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The officials also discussed “the importance of peace and security in the Taiwan Strait, the ongoing crisis in Burma, and reaffirmed the Quad’s strong support for ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.”
They will continue regular consultations at the ministerial, senior official, and working levels and plan to hold a second Leaders’ Summit this fall.
The Quad is part of the deep network of partnerships which helps the United States bolster the international rules-based order and advance democratic values. As Secretary Blinken noted, “Most of the challenges that we face in the world...can’t be resolved by any one country acting alone. So it’s a natural and normal thing for likeminded democracies to come together and work on these things together.”