Indian PM Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will participate in the first virtual summit of the Quad group, which unites the four nations, on March 12, the Indian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will be participating, along with Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison and Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga and President of U.S.A. Joseph R. Biden, in the first Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework, being held virtually on 12th March 2021,” the ministry said in a statement.
The four leaders plan to discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest and exchange views on cooperation areas. In addition, the sides will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and the equitable access to vaccines, climate change and maritime security.
The Quad nations are expected to discuss various ways to contain China’s growing influence, the Japanese government told Kyodo news agency on Friday.
The group consisting of four leaders was initially formed in 2004 to coordinate efforts after the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. However, nowadays the Quad mainly focuses on issues of regional security, the agency said.
According to Kyodo News, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to coordinate their Chinese policy, discuss the equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and climate change.
In February, foreign ministers of the four countries met online, striking an agreement to work towards common goals in the region and to strongly oppose any attempts by Beijing to forcefully change the status quo in the East and South China seas.
In response, Beijing has condemned the Quad framework as an Asian version of NATO and criticized its attempts to undermine China’s development.