the American president, Joe Biden, continues to move the chips in the Indo-Pacific region when receiving this Friday, 24, the prime ministers of India, Japan and Australia, after announcing last week a spectacular military alliance between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Biden, who wants to contain China’s growing influence, intends to revive the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue”.
The also called “Quad” was drafted after the devastating tsunami of 2004 and formalized in 2007, but has been inactive for a long time.
After a virtual summit in March, Biden reunites it in person and at a high level.
The guests are Scott Morrison (Australia), with whom Biden had already met in person this week, Narendra Modi (India) and Yoshihide Suga (Japan), with whom Biden also has bilateral dialogues this Friday.
Along with the Indian Prime Minister, in the Oval Office, Biden described the day’s program: “Today we are going to talk about what else we can do to fight covid-19, address climate challenges and ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific region “.
“Turn to Asia”
When reactivating the “Quad”, Biden is somehow pursuing the “Asia shift” of American foreign policy, a goal cherished by former President Barack Obama (2009-2017).
But after the announcement of the Aukus, as the agreement with the UK and Australia is known — and its contract for nuclear-powered submarines that infuriated France — Washington wants to present the “Quad” in a light of consensus.
It is an “informal” and “intimate” cenacle, designed to “develop better channels of communication,” senior White House officials told reporters.
There is no “military” objective, they insisted, asserting that the “Quad” would be “complementary” to other regional initiatives, in response to a question about its articulation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Some members of this organization, comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, fear that the US offensive in the region will escalate with China.
Semiconductors, Vaccines and Weather
According to senior officials, the forecast is that the “Quad” will insist this Friday mainly on economic and environmental projects and on combating the pandemic.
The four partners want to launch an initiative to protect the supply of semiconductors, electronic components indispensable for both washing machines and for airplanes or smartphones, which industries around the world have struggled to achieve.
They also plan to talk about technology 5G, cybersecurity, university exchanges, space projects, fisheries and vaccines.
“For Washington, the challenge is to overcome the security paradigm and improve the United States’ economic position in Southeast Asia,” said Jonathan Stromseth, an expert in the region, in a note published by the Brookings Institution.
Stromseth said the effort to revive the “Quad” is “emblematic” of “the Biden administration’s approach to China, presented as competitive when needed, cooperative when possible, and confrontational when necessary.”
The Democratic president maintains a tougher line toward China, much like his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, but handles the confrontation with Beijing in a different way.
Biden, who is trying to overcome the face-to-face confrontation between the two superpowers, hopes to reactivate the alliance game and encourage the United States’ traditional partners to take a frank stand against China.
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