New Delhi: In a joint statement aimed at sending a message to China, the Quad grouping on Tuesday opposed “any provocative or unilateral attempt” to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific region and stressed on peaceful settlement of disputes. The second in-person meeting of the Quad leaders in Tokyo was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australia’s newly-elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
“We strongly oppose any coercive, provocative or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo and increase tensions in the (Indo-Pacific) area, such as the militarisation of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities,” a joint statement by the Quad leaders said.
The statement comes at a time when relations between China and the Quad member countries have nosedived. China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea and has built artificial islands and military installations, PTI reported.
India and the US have repeatedly stressed on the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s military exercises in the region.