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Montevideo, July 4th 2022 - 06:31 UTC

 

 

Quad leaders agree to further develop Pacific Ocean island nations

Thursday, May 26th 2022 - 02:14 UTC
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Quad has been dubbed “the Asian NATO” and analysts foresee it might develop into a formal alliance to curb expansion from Russia and China Quad has been dubbed “the Asian NATO” and analysts foresee it might develop into a formal alliance to curb expansion from Russia and China

Leaders of the Quad countries (United States, Japan, Australia, and India) Tuesday issued a joint statement from Tokyo in which they pledged to up their efforts towards securing peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

They also announced a multi-million dollar infrastructure investment package in the Pacific Ocean islands and territories to boost economic development and sustainability, in areas such as health, education, and climate change.

Participating and signing the manifesto were Prime Ministers Fumio Kishida of Japan, Anthony Albanese of Australia, and Narendra Modi of India, together with US President Joseph Biden.

The four leaders getting together at the informal Tokyo summit reiterated their shared commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific and the importance of upholding the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful resolution of disputes. They also exchanged their views on developments in the Indo-Pacific and the conflict in Europe, while unequivocally condemning terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations.

“We are committed to working together to address the needs of fellow Pacific Islanders,” reads the document, which also highlights the group's commitment to “upholding regional security frameworks” in the current geopolitical context.

The statement, which openly addresses the conflict in Ukraine “and its implications for the Indo-Pacific,” sends a message against “any coercive, provocative and unilateral actions that seek to change the 'status quo' and increase tensions in the area,” although it falls short of mentioning either China or Russia.

The Quad countries did express, however, their rejection of the “militarization of disputed areas” and the use of coast guard vessels and maritime militias to hinder other countries' activities “to exploit resources at sea.”

The announcement comes at a time when Beijing is increasing its military activity and influence in the region with agreements such as the one recently reached with the Solomon Islands, which includes defense assistance. The Quad alliance would seek to counteract this drive with a rapprochement with the island countries.

The group announced Tuesday it will disburse US$ 50 billion over the next five years to fund infrastructure projects in the region and pledged to address debt problems “exacerbated by the [COVID-19] pandemic.”

“We are working closely with experts, our region, and each other to link our tools and expertise to better connect the Indo-Pacific,” the document noted.

Quad is now playing the role of an informal security agreement between the four countries. In that regard, it has been dubbed “the Asian NATO.” States do not see threats better because they ally; they ally because they see threats, it was explained.

However, Quad also tackles other issues beyond military problems, such as public health and infrastructure security. But it also includes nuclear collaboration and joint naval exercises.

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