In a jointly-authored opinion article for the Washington Post on Saturday (local time), the heads of Quad countries, quadrilateral cooperation between the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India aimed at containing China’s territorial claims, stressed the Quad’s openness and expandability. A day after the first-ever virtual meeting of the Quad, the four leaders raised their voices on the necessity of cooperation between Quad and other countries in the region through a joint-authored opinion article.
In an opinion article titled “Our four nations are committed to a free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” the heads of Quad countries said the Quad is a “flexible group of like-minded partners dedicated to advancing a common vision and to ensuring peace and prosperity.” They stressed that the Quad is not a closed alliance by saying they welcome and will seek opportunities to work with all of those who share in those goals.
Their emphasis on the openness of the alliance appears to be aimed at preventing other countries in the region from perceiving the Quad as an exclusive security partnership or moving away from the cooperation. It can also be seen as a message that indirectly urging other countries in the region, including South Korea, to participate in the alliance. The U.S. is reportedly considering the launch of the “Quad Plus” that includes South Korea, New Zealand, and Vietnam.
Recalling that the Quad was initially created to respond to the tsunami that devastated parts of Indonesia in 2004, the leaders said they are again summoned to act together in support of a region in need in this new age of interconnection and opportunity throughout the Indo-Pacific. The Quad leaders also gave a detailed explanation on what they discussed at the Quad summit, such as response to the pandemic and cooperation on climate change.