The Quad summit, which was scheduled to take place in Sydney next week, has been postponed due to the absence of U.S. President Joe Biden. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Wednesday that the leaders of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States would instead meet at the G7 in Japan this weekend. Albanese said that the Quad leaders’ meeting would not go ahead in Sydney next week without Biden, who postponed his trip to Australia due to debt ceiling negotiations in Washington. However, a bilateral program with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could still go ahead next week in Sydney, according to Albanese.
Impact on Washington’s Battle for Influence with Beijing
The cancellation of Biden’s visit to Papua New Guinea, which would have been the first visit by an American president to an independent Pacific islands nation, could set back Washington’s battle for influence with Beijing in the region, according to Asia Society Policy Institute senior fellow Richard Maude. The Quad is an informal group that promotes an open Indo-Pacific. Beijing sees it as an attempt to push back against its growing influence in the region. Maude, a former Australian intelligence chief, told a panel discussion on the Quad on Wednesday that “turning up is half the battle” and that China turns up all the time, making the optics unfavorable for the United States.
Invitation to G7 Meeting in Japan
India and Australia, two countries that are not part of the G7 group of seven rich nations, have been invited to attend the summit in Japan. The Quad, which is an informal strategic forum, was created in 2007 to promote regional cooperation on security issues. It consists of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia, all of which are democracies and share concerns about the rise of China. The group seeks to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, which has been a major focus of the Biden administration’s foreign policy. The G7 meeting in Japan this weekend will provide an opportunity for the Quad leaders to discuss shared concerns and issues.
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