First Quad Summit gives shape to an Indo-Pacific Vaccine Alliance
15 March 2021
Leaders of four Indo-Pacific nations – the US, India, Japan and Australia - have called for a free, open Indo-Pacific, whch they said, would be an enabler of peace, stability and prosperity for all nations of the region and the world.
Leaders of the ‘Indo-Pacific Quad’ grouping, at their first virtual meeting that lasted twenty minutes, discussed issues like distribution of corona vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies.
The Quad also decided to launch a new ambitious joint partnership that wlill boost vaccine manufacturing for the global benefit ad strengthen vaccinations to benefit the entire Indo-Pacific and the world.
Speaking at the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Quad an important pillar of stability in the Indo-Pacific region. “I see this positive vision as an extension of India's ancient philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.' which regards the world as one family. We will work together closely as ever before for advancing shared values and promoting secular, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Modi said.
US President Joe Biden said the United States is committed to working with all its allies in the region to achieve stability. “We are launching a new ambitious joint partnership that is going to boost vaccine manufacturing for the global benefit, strengthen vaccinations to benefit the entire Indo-Pacific,” said President Biden
“This group is particularly important because it is dedicated to the practical solutions and concrete results,” he added.
Australian PM Scott Morrison said that it's the Indo-Pacific that will now shape the destiny of the world in the 21st Century. As four leaders of great democracies in Indo-Pacific, let our partnership be an enabler of peace, stability and prosperity and to do so inclusively with many nations in the region, he added.
With the four countries working together, I wish to firmly advance cooperation to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific, said Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.
The virtual meeting marks the first summit since the idea for the grouping of the four major democracies was conceived in 2004, in response to the devastation of an earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
Reports citing sources said under the new initiative, vaccines will be developed in the US, manufactured in India, financed by Japan and the US, and supported by Australia.
Quad is also expected to establish, a senior-level Quad vaccine experts group and this is a part of the building habits of cooperation that is one of the key focus of the Quad, said a senior US administration official.
The Quad summit, however, comes as a distraction for China, which is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, as it hotly pursues militarisation of the South China Sea and beyond.
Ahead of the Quad summit, China said exchanges and cooperation between countries should contribute to mutual understanding rather than targeting a third party and refrain from pursuing exclusive blocs.
Asked for China's reaction to the Quad conclave, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that exchanges and cooperation between nations should contribute to the mutual understanding and trust among nations, rather than targeting a third party or damaging the interest of a third party.