U.S. advances freedoms, sovereignty in the Indo-Pacific

Five men and a woman standing around a table, with flags in background (© Charly Triballeau/AP Images)
During an October 6 meeting in Tokyo, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, second from right, and the foreign ministers of India, Japan and Australia pledged support for a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific. (© Charly Triballeau/AP Images)

The United States and its international partners stand for a free and open rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.

During an October 6 Quad Ministerial, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with representatives of three key partner nations and expressed strong support for basic freedoms and national sovereignty in the Indo-Pacific.

And he contrasted that approach with the Chinese Communist Party’s bullying of neighboring countries.

“All of us seek a free and open Indo-Pacific and our conversations aim to achieve that good outcome,” Pompeo said during the meeting in Tokyo with the foreign ministers of Japan, India and Australia. “As partners in this Quad, it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s exploitation, corruption, and coercion.”

Senior leaders of the four democracies consult regularly on issues, ranging from counterterrorism, maritime security and cybersecurity to transparent infrastructure development, promoting the use of trusted fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications networks and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their commitment to rules-based order comes as the People’s Republic of China engages in provocative behavior in the East and South China seas, and multiple countries have protested China’s unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea to the United Nations.

During the ministerial, members of the Quad affirmed their support for the sovereignty of the nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and for the region’s economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our four nations believe in common fundamental values such as democracy, rule of law and free economy,” Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told the ministerial. “We believe in having a regional responsibility, share the goal of strengthening a rules-based free and open international order.”