Leaders of US, Japan, India and Australia unveil the Indo-Pacific maritime surveillance plan, pledge $50bn in infrastructure investment in a bid to counter China.
The leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia have launched a maritime initiative to combat illegal fishing and pledged to invest more than $50bn in developing infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific as part of their efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
The pledges were announced on Tuesday after the four men met in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, for a second in-person summit of their Indo-Pacific Quad grouping.
The meeting of the informal alliance, which was set up to respond to China’s economic and military might, also discussed climate change, technology and COVID-19, as well as the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – an issue that has risked division among the group’s members.
India, which has close ties with Russia, is the only member that is yet to condemn Moscow’s war.
In a joint statement, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s new leader Anthony Albanese said the Quad’s latest measures are aimed at demonstrating that the group “is a force for good” and that it is “committed to bringing tangible benefits to the region” at a time of profound global challenges.
And while the statement did not mention China by name, the leaders said they “strongly oppose any coercive, provocative or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo” in the Indo-Pacific.
These include “the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities” – all accusations that have been levied against China.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES