Australian Foreign Minister (FM) Marise Payne on Saturday (February 12) said that Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is not against anything. She said it is about building resilience and about promoting a region without the threat of coercion or intimidation.
Addressing a joint press conference with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar, Payne said that she hasn’t seen China’s comment on the Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting, and added that the group has a “very positive agenda”.
“I haven’t seen those particular comments from China myself. But, what I can say is that we have absolutely reinforced, in the day of our discussion yesterday and all of the work that is being done by multiple working groups and agencies and officials in relation to the very positive agenda, that the Quad has, we are not against anything,” Payne said.
Payne continued saying that Quad is about building- about building confidence, resilience and “about promoting a region in which all countries are able to be and feel sovereign and secure without the threat of coercion or intimidation.”
“We have a really practical agenda, which is evidenced by our support of access to vaccines, over 500 million vaccines delivered under the Quad leaders commitments on vaccination,” said the Australian Foreign Minister.
On Friday, Australia hosted India, Japan and the United States for the fourth Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Melbourne and the top diplomats bolstered cooperation in areas including economy, security, coronavirus pandemic and free and open Indo-Pacific.
Highlighting the Quad meeting talks, Payne said India and Australia talked about the bilateral work on infrastructure development and cyber security.
“We’ve talked at great length about the work that we are able to do together on infrastructure development, cybersecurity, maritime security, which again we reinforced today in our bilateral meeting on countering malicious and enter dangerous disinformation.”
Talking about what Quad means to Australia, Payne said “for Australia, the quad is a very complementary part of the network of relationships that we have both regionally and internationally. And it is all about helping to positively shape our region as indeed it develops and grows and Australia has welcomed the development and growth of China over the years. But we have always said that we will also act in the protection of our national interests as any sovereign nation would.”
Reacting to the Quad meeting, China on Friday stated that the group consisting of Australia, the US, India and Japan, is a tool for containing and besiaging Beijing to maintain US hegemony. “It aims to stoke confrontation and undermine international solidarity and cooperation.
(With ANI inputs)