Updated: Sun, 22 May 2022 04:19 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Quad Summit will provide India, the United States (US), Japan, and Australia an opportunity to review the progress of initiatives by the group and discuss the situation in the crucial Indo-Pacific region, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday ahead of his visit to Tokyo from May 23 to 24.
"We will also exchange views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and global issues of mutual interest," said PM Modi in his departure statement, adding that he will also hold bilateral meetings with US President Joe Biden and his counterparts from Japan (Fumio Kishida) and Australia (Anthony Albanese).
Quad's meeting has left China in a place of bother as the group was initially formed to keep a check on Chinese activities in the Indo-Pacific. Experts believe China will be keenly keeping an eye on the Quad Summit in Japan.
Speaking to Dainik Jagran, professor Harsh V Pant said India - despite Russia's backing - needs the US and other Quad nations to keep Beijing in check. Not just in the Indo-Pacific, but China's growing aggression in the South China Sea and eastern Ladakh is a concern for India, but it can be countered with help from the Quad.
Professor Pant said China "sees Quad as a tool to stop" to rise at the global level and has called it Asian NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). China has repeatedly criticised the group, saying "ill intentions underlie the so-called 'Indo-Pacific strategy' devised under the pretext of 'the China threat'."
"It asserts to strengthen regional security, but is generating grave nuclear proliferation risks that would undermine regional peace and stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Wang Wenbin had said in February.
"It professes to promote regional prosperity, but is stoking opposition and confrontation between regional countries which undercuts the ASEAN-centred regional cooperation architecture that has formed over the years, and poses a serious threat to regional cooperation outcomes and development prospects."
"This 'strategy' that resurrects the Cold War mentality and bloc politics has nothing new and no future, but will only bring division and turbulence to the Asia-Pacific. It will surely be greeted with nothing but vigilance and rejection from regional countries," he added.
'Like China, Russia also keeping an eye on Quad'
Besides China, Russia will also be keeping an eye on the Quad Summit in Tokyo, believes Professor Pant. It must be noted that except for India, all other members of Quad have criticised Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. In its previous meeting in March, Quad leaders have also called for an immediate end to all hostilities in Ukraine due to the worsening humanitarian crisis.
"Developments in Ukraine were discussed in the meeting, including its humanitarian implications. The Prime Minister emphasised the need to return to a path of dialogue and diplomacy," India had said in a statement after the meeting.
India, Professor Pant told Dainik Jagran, will be cautious as the US and Australia have openly criticised its neutral policy at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He said India has made its stance clear to the world, which will help New Delhi in this situation. Besides, Professor Pant believes the US cannot ignore India's interests.
India hopes Quad meet will boost strategic ties
Meanwhile, India has hoped that the Quad Summit will boost strategic ties between its members. Sanjay Kumar Verma, the Indian ambassador to Japan, said Quad is a group of like-minded countries that have values common to them whether it is international law, democracy, and market economy.
"Quad is a positive, constructive agenda so we don’t target a country or region for that. What we look forward to is that peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region should be adhered to," he told news agency ANI when asked if China will be the focus of the Quad Summit.
"We want to see that international laws are followed and that no country takes the route of coercive economic policy. So all these are in the basket but the prime motive of Quad meetings is to see peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific," he added.