As per reports, The third Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad meeting will be held on February 18 to exchange views on regional and global issues especially practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the third India-Australia-Japan-USA ministerial meeting will have the participation of the respective Foreign Ministers. "The Ministers will exchange views on regional and global issues especially practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region," the statement said.
Third India-Australia-Japan-US Ministerial Meeting to be held today with participation of respective Foreign Ministers. They'll exchange views on regional & global issues especially practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining free, open & inclusive Indo-Pacific region: MEA pic.twitter.com/FYKGdVxGut— ANI (@ANI) February 18, 2021
The leaders will also discuss ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing global climate change and other issues of mutual interest," the statement added. The meeting will be in continuation of the views exchanged in the last quad meeting held in Tokyo on October 6 last year.
The Quad initiative is expected to put an end to the economic coercion drive of China and cooperation with Japan & other allies will help to counter Chinese development assistance and its dominance in the region.
Earlier, The Japan Times reported that for the first time under the Quad framework, the foreign ministers of the four countries met in New York in 2019. The four countries held another meeting last year in Tokyo during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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During the October meeting, then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had criticized China for using its economic power to increase its hegemony over the neighboring countries in the South Asian region.
Pompeo denounced China's "exploitation, corruption, and coercion" of neighboring countries. He said, "This is for the soul of the world. This is about whether this will be a world that operates in this sense that we're on a rules-based international order system or one that's dominated by a coercive totalitarian regime like the one in China."
The QUAD meeting will take place virtually in the backdrop of India-China border disengagement which is currently taking place in Eastern Ladakh. China's aggressive maneuvering along the LAC has been repelled by the Indian Armed forces, now the QUAD leaders will be looking forward to countering China's aggression in the South China Sea as well as in the Indian ocean.