New Delhi: Two days ahead of the Quad’s “first leaders’ summit” in virtual format, the United States warned on Wednesday that if it does not act “in concert and in tandem with our allies and partners around the world, China will act with even greater impunity”. Referring to Chinese “human rights abuses in Xinjiang or the way in which Beijing is trampling democracy in Hong Kong”, Washington also said it would “engage China from a position of strength (that) … requires us to work with allies and partners”, adding this was its “core source of strength” and “the envy of competitors and adversaries the world over”.
The US, however, also said the Quad — comprising the US, India, Japan and Australia — was “not about any single challenge” nor “about any single competitor”.
The US state department said: “Quad members are uniquely positioned to help lead the world out of the deep crises that we’ve spoken about — that includes Covid-19 — and towards the more positive vision that we all seek. And it’s a vision that we in large part share with our fellow Quad counterparts. The summit meeting will be the first of its kind, the first leader-level summit of the Quad. It will showcase the Quad’s ability to pool our capabilities and build habits of cooperation to address some of those urgent challenges we face.”
At a separate briefing, the White House said: “That President Biden has made this one of his earliest multilateral engagements speaks to the importance we place on close cooperation with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific. A range of issues, of course, will be discussed — we expect to be discussed, I should say — facing the global community from the threat of Covid, to economic cooperation, and of course, to the climate crisis.”
The state department said: “The common denominator in all of this and what we have consistently talked about when we note our approach vis-a-vis China is that we will engage China from a position of strength. And we have spoken to any number of those strengths. To do so, it requires us to work with allies and partners. Again, our system of alliances and partnerships around the world are a core source of strength. That’s precisely why they are the envy of competitors and adversaries the world over.”