The Quad partnership among the United States, India, Australia and Japan is committed to defending democracy and advancing prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will participate in the fourth Quad Ministerial in Melbourne, Australia, on February 11, in which he will meet with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, India’s Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa.
They will exchange ideas about the Quad’s collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Quad’s unwavering support of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ centrality and the ASEAN-led architecture, and Quad cooperation on regional challenges including humanitarian assistance and disaster response, maritime security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity and efforts to counter disinformation.
President Biden participated in the Quad’s first leaders meeting on March 12, 2021, along with his counterparts: then-Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia.
Biden hosted the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit at the White House on September 24, 2021.
“The Biden-Harris Administration has made elevating the Quad a priority,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “Hosting the leaders of the Quad demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
The Quad grew out of the four democracies’ humanitarian efforts in response to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
In recent years, senior officials from the partner nations have consulted on issues such as maritime security, cyber concerns, countering disinformation, counterterrorism, development assistance and humanitarian disaster relief.
At a February 2021 Quad foreign ministers meeting, Blinken discussed the urgent need to restore democracy in Burma.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne recently said of the Quad: “We are a vital network of liberal democracies cooperating to give our region strategic choices, with a focus on practical steps to build the resilience and sovereignty of all states,” Reuters reports.
A version of this story was previously published on September 21, 2021.