Quad Talks in New Delhi: Strengthening the Indo-Pacific and Countering Threats

The four members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) – India, the United States, Japan and Australia – held a meeting in New Delhi on March 3, 2023, with the foreign ministers of the four countries present.[0] The meeting was presided over by India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong.[1]

The joint statement released after the meeting reaffirmed the Quad's “steadfast” commitment to supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and resilient.[2] The ministers strongly supported the principles of freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force and freedom of navigation and overflight, and opposed any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, all of which are essential to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.[3]

The statement also expressed “serious concern” at the militarisation of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities in the South and East China Seas.[4] It also announced that a Quad working group on counter-terrorism would be established to explore measures to combat new and emerging forms of terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism.[5]

The foreign ministers discussed their responses to the conflict in Ukraine, and concurred that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.[4] They underscored the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, and emphasised that the rules-based international order must respect sovereignty, territorial integrity, transparency and peaceful resolution of disputes.[4]

At the Raisina Dialogue, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Quad is deeply engaged in the Indo-Pacific region and is a force for good.[6] He maintained that the Quad is not a military group and is looking to collaborate in new technology, innovation and intends to bring academia and experts on the platform.[6]

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning called on the Quad “to do more things that contribute to security and mutual trust between regional countries and that help to maintain regional peace and stability”, rather than being “about putting exclusionary blocs”.[7]

0. “Quad foreign ministers to meet today” Hindustan Times, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/quad-foreign-ministers-to-meet-today-101677783823994.html

1. “Quad ministers vow to address challenges in South, East China seas” Kyodo News Plus, 3 Mar. 2023, https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2023/03/95864973bd75-quad-foreign-ministers-meet-in-india-amid-china-rise-war-in-ukraine.html

2. “@DrSJaishankar @SenatorWong @SecBlinken @MEAIndia Our Meeting Today Reaffirms the Quad's … – Latest Tweet” LatestLY, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.latestly.com/socially/india/news/drsjaishankar-senatorwong-secblinken-meaindia-our-meeting-today-reaffirms-the-quads-latest-tweet-by-prasar-bharati-news-services-4905348.html

3. “Jaishankar highlights resilient supply chain, digital challenge at Quad meeting” Deccan Chronicle, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/030323/jaishankar-highlights-resilient-supply-chain-digital-challenge-at-qua.html

4. “Quad to sharpen focus on counter-terrorism, soft-peddles Ukraine conflict” The Tribune India, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/quad-to-sharpen-focus-on-counter-terrorism-soft-peddles-ukraine-conflict-484811

5. “Quad Foreign Ministers Announce Setting Up Of Working Group On Counter-Terrorism” NDTV, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/quad-foreign-ministers-announce-setting-up-of-working-group-on-counter-terrorism-3831567

6. “QUAD is a ‘critical vehicle of engagement', not a military group: US Secy of State Blinken” Economic Times, 3 Mar. 2023, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/quad-is-a-critical-vehicle-of-engagement-not-a-military-group-us-secy-of-state-blinken/videoshow/98391452.cms

7. “China Slams Quad Meeting Held In New Delhi; Opposes Exclusivity” Swarajya, 3 Mar. 2023, https://swarajyamag.com/world/china-slams-quad-meeting-held-in-new-delhi-opposes-exclusivity

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