Quad foreign ministers meet Japanese PM, discuss ‘special partnership’

In the backdrop of the ongoing border dispute with China, Quad foreign ministers met newly anointed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo on Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and Japan’s foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi discussed bilateral and global dimensions of the “special partnership” of the Quadrilateral group members during their meeting with Suga.

 India, the US, Japan, and Australia, collectively form the Quadrilateral group. The ministers — US Secretary Mike Pompeo, Jaishankar, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne — are in Tokyo to attend the Quadrilateral foreign ministers meeting.

“Called on PM @sugawitter along with other Quad Foreign Ministers. Spoke about the bilateral and global dimensions of our special partnership,” Jaishankar wrote on Twitter. he had met Mike Pompeo and reaffirmed India’s stand of working together with the US for ensuring stability and prosperity of the Indo=Pacific region.

ALSO READ: Jaishankar meets Pompeo, says India & US will work for Indo-Pacific ‘stability, prosperity’

The Quad foreign ministers are also meeting separately to work out a common strategy to safeguard mutual interests and also deliberate on a common China policy. Strategic and security challenges in the region and joint strategy will be the key focus of the meeting in keeping with China’s aggressive stance with regards to border aggression and the South China Sea.

India-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China’s illegitimate territorial claims in South China Sea and efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean region are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.  Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter territorial claims in  South China Sea. Xi Jingping’s unabated assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented escalation of tensions in the Indian-Pacific region.

This incidentally is the first meeting of Quad foreign ministers amid India-China border tensions over altering the status quo at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. A meeting of Quad foreign ministers was last held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2019.

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