The leaders of the Quad group, which includes Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, delivered a statement calling for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain at a summit in Hiroshima. Although China was not mentioned by name, the language used in the statement appeared to refer to China’s military expansion in the region and its economic tactics to gain leverage over poorer countries. The statement expressed strong opposition to destabilizing or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion. The leaders also highlighted the need to support quality undersea cable networks in the Indo-Pacific and expand a pilot program for high-tech monitoring of illegal fishing.
In addition to concerns about China’s behavior, the Quad leaders expressed deep concern about repression in Myanmar and condemned North Korea’s destabilizing ballistic missile launches and pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. The group also emphasized their support for infrastructure improvements across the Asia-Pacific region but stated that they would not impose unsustainable debt burdens on recipients of assistance.
The Quad leaders held their meeting while already gathered in Hiroshima for a Group of 7 summit. US President Joe Biden had originally been scheduled to attend a meeting in Sydney with the other leaders but had to cancel due to the need to negotiate with Republican opponents on the US debt ceiling. The leaders stressed their commitment to working together to promote peace and stability in the region and announced a partnership aiming to draw on their countries’ expertise in the specialist maritime cable sector.