The leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States released a statement calling for stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The leaders of the Quad group – Australia, India, Japan and the United States – gave a thinly veiled swipe at Beijing’s behavior at a summit in Hiroshima.
US President Joe Biden and his three teammates did not mention China by name on Saturday but the superpower was clearly targeted in language in a joint statement calling for “peace and stability in Indo-Pacific maritime domain”.
“We strongly oppose destabilizing or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo through force or coercion,” the statement said, using diplomatic language that appeared to refer to China’s economic tactics to gain leverage in poorer countries as well as the expansion of its military in the country. Pacific.
“We express serious concern over the militarization of opposing sides, the dangerous use of coastguard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt the resource exploitation activities of other countries,” the statement added. , which clearly refers to the construction of Chinese bases on former offshore reefs. and harassing non-Chinese ships in disputed waters.
Quad leaders held their meeting while gathering in Hiroshima for a Group of 7 summit.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is slated to host Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sydney next week.
However, Biden pulled out, saying he had to return to Washington from Japan on Sunday to negotiate with Republican opponents on the US debt ceiling.
Biden apologized for forcing the change of plans and invited Albanese to make a state visit to the White House.
In their statement, they emphasized the Quad’s support for infrastructure development throughout the Asia-Pacific region, while saying, in another apparent dig at China, that they want to help such investments but ” will not impose unsustainable debt burdens” on aid recipients. .
Among the projects highlighted by the leaders of the Quad is the “urgent need to support quality undersea cable networks in the Indo-Pacific, which is the key to global growth and prosperity”. They announced a partnership aimed at drawing on their countries’ expertise in the specialist maritime cable sector.
They also said that the current pilot program for high-tech monitoring of illegal fishing will be expanded.
And they said they were “deeply concerned” by the crackdown on Myanmar, and they condemned “North Korea’s destabilizing ballistic missile launches and pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions”.
Kishida warned that the security environment has become more difficult since the alliance’s most recent meeting last year. Modi announced that the next summit of the four countries will be hosted in India in 2024.