By Victor Reklaitis
President Joe Biden on Friday is due to host his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia at the White House, as the four “Quad” nations aim to work together to counter China’s growing power.
The top officials’ in-person meeting is the “first-ever Quad Leaders Summit,” and it demonstrates the Biden administration’s “priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement earlier this month.
Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will focus on issues “such as combatting COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, partnering on emerging technologies and cyberspace, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Psaki added. The quartet met virtually in March.
Ahead of the meeting, some analysts have said the Biden administration needs to do a better job of articulating its overall goal with China.
“While President Biden is clear that his top foreign policy priority is China, what is lacking is a clear strategy to succeed in the competition between the two countries,” said analysts at Beacon Policy Advisers in a note earlier this week.
“The Biden administration has set forth a number of broad goals it has for the relationship, such as seeking cooperation on climate change, being tough on human rights violations, and winning the tech race with China, but has yet to put these together into a cohesive strategy.”
Biden also met one-on-one with Morrison on Tuesday, and he was slated to have similar bilateral meetings with Modi and Suga on Friday.