Joe Biden, the President of the United States, set to host the first in-house gathering of Indo-Pacific alliance “the Quad” leaders on Friday, winding up his tough week of diplomacy in which the president faced no shortage of criticism from both opponents and allies. The meeting of the president with leaders from Australia, Japan, and India in the White House gives Biden a chance to put the focus on a central aim of his foreign policy.
Tomorrow, President Biden is hosting leaders of the Quad at the White House. Confused about what the coalition is and what its role is in the Indo-Pacific? @tanvi_madan breaks it all down. pic.twitter.com/7Pj5AWYeAM
— The Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst) September 24, 2021
His foreign policy intends to turn more attention to the Pacific in the face of what the United States perceives as the forcible economic practices of China and worrying military steering in the region. The discussions of four leaders are also expected to center on coronavirus response, climate change, and cyber security. Before the meeting, the Indian and the Japanese governments welcomed a recent announcement that the United States, as part of a separate novel coalition with Australia and the United Kingdom, would help Australia to equip with nuclear-powered submarines.
It is a move that will help Australia to carry out longer patrols in the waters and give it an edge on the Chinese navy force. However, the accouchement enraged France, which accused the Biden government of stabbing it in the back by crushing its own sixty-six billion dollars accord to provide diesel-powered submarines. However, tensions between French President Emmanuel Macron and the U.S. president reduced after the two leaders spoke Wednesday and settled to coordinate more closely in the Indo-Pacific region.
Outdated Cold War Zero-sum Mentality and Narrow-minded Geopolitical Perception
Michael Green, former senior director for Asia at the National Security Council during the government of former American President George W. Bush, said that India and Japan welcome the United States-United Kingdom-Australian alliance because it will really, for the next fifty years, reset the routes in naval power in the Pacific region and from the viewpoint of those nations stabilize things as China immensely build up its naval force.
China spoke out strongly in the opposition of the alliance, with Zhao Lijian, the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Minister, called it an echo of “outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical perception” that might increase an arms race in the region. Beijing also wanted to weaken the Quad alliance as out of step with other countries in Southeast Asia and depicted members of the Quad as United States pawns.
China sent twenty-four fighter aircraft toward Taiwan on Thursday after the island announced its interest to join the Pacific trade group, the Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, that China also intended to join. The meeting of the U.S. President Biden with the Indo-Pacific leaders caps a busy week of diplomacy for Biden in which he addressed the United Nations General Assembly and served as host for a virtual international meeting on fighting coronavirus.
Criticism on the U.S. and other Wealthy Nations on Inequity of Vaccination
U.S. President and leaders of rich countries – faced criticism about the slow pace of international COVID-19 vaccinations and the discrimination of access to doses between citizens of poorer and wealthy countries. Moreover, the pushback from leaders of moderate- and low-income nations came even as Joe Biden announced plans for the United States to double to one billion vaccine shots its acquisitions of Pfizer vaccine to donate to the world.
Biden also planned to meet separately today with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi expected to raise concerns about the efforts of the Taliban government in Afghanistan to get recognition from the United Nations. He also has concerns about the influence his government believes Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence exercised in how groups of the Taliban split up government offices in the Afghan capital.
Last week, North Korea said that it successfully launched two ballistic missiles from a train for the first time to strike a target in the sea around eighteen hundred kilometers away. That test came after it tested new cruise missiles, which it plans to make nuclear-capable, that can strike target fifteen hundred kilometers away, a distance putting all of the United States and Japan installations there within reach.