Top diplomats from Japan, India, Australia and the United States agreed on Tuesday to enhance their cooperation, with an eye on the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s growing assertiveness.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a meeting in Tokyo that “it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partnerships from the Chinese Communist Party’s exploitation and corruption and coercion.
“We see it in the South and East China seas, in Mekong, the Himalayas, Taiwan Strait these are just a few examples.’’
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, and Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also participated in the talks.
Motegi said, “the four nations share fundamental values of democracy, rule of law and free economy.”
Jaishankar also tweeted that remaining “committed to upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputed.’’
The four countries’ top diplomats, a group they call the Quad, held the second ministerial-level multi-party conference as China has stepped up its territorial claims in the South and East China seas.
Earlier, Payne and Pompeo had their third meeting, she wrote on twitter that “we spoke about our ongoing cooperation to promote peace, stability and prosperity in our region.
“Great to meet again with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne today in Tokyo to discuss Quad cooperation.
Pompeo also tweeted that the United States-Australia-India-Japan relationship is integral to ensuring an open and transparent Indo-Pacific.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry said Pompeo held talks with Motegi, exchanging views concerning the situations in North Korea and the South and East China seas.
According to the ministry, the two agreed that the United States and Japan would coordinate closely to deal with North Korean missile and nuclear weapons development.
In his first visit to Japan since Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office in mid-September, Pompeo met with the new Japanese leader.
Pompeo was originally scheduled to visit Mongolia and South Korea this week, but the trips were cancelled after U.S President Donald Trump was hospitalised following a positive coronavirus test.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim)