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Quad commits to free, open Indo-Pacific

Mid-Day logo Mid-Day 25-09-2022 Agencies
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The Quad grouping of India, Australia, Japan and the United States has said it strongly opposes any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo or increase tensions in the Indo-Pacific, amidst China`s increasingly intimidatory behaviour in the region.

The foreign ministers met in New York City on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly to deepen Quad multilateral cooperation in support of advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and resilient, according to the joint readout of the meeting held on Friday.

The meeting was attended by foreign ministers Penny Wong of Australia, S Jaishankar of India, Hayashi Yoshimasa of Japan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“The Quad`s vision is for a region where the rules-based international order is upheld, and where the principles of freedom, rule of law, democratic values, peaceful settlement of disputes, sovereignty, and territorial integrity are respected,” the joint readout released by the US State Department said.

“We strongly oppose any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo or increase tensions in the region,” the four foreign ministers said.

They reaffirmed their conviction that international law, peace, and security in the maritime domain underpins the development and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, according to the readout.

“We also reaffirmed our unwavering support for ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] unity and centrality, ASEAN-led regional architecture, and practical implementation of ASEAN`s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,”it said. China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

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