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US to hold talks with ‘Quad’ partners despite China pressure

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak with the foreign ministers of the three countries with coronavirus pandemic and climate change being on the agenda, the State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday

UPDATED: Feb 18, 2021, 10:34 AM(IST)

The United States on Wednesday announced talks with Australia, Japan and India to further boost the “Quad” alliance despite warnings from China.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak with the foreign ministers of the three countries with coronavirus pandemic and climate change being on the agenda, the State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.

“These discussions with the Quad foreign ministers is critical to advancing our shared goals of a free and open Indo-Pacific and rising to the defining challenges of our times,” Price said.

The Quadrilateral alliance, commonly known as “Quad”, was launched in 2007 to balance China’s rise in the region.

Despite the initial caution, Quad in recent years, particularly in the last year has grown, something that has angered Beijing.

Earlier this month, China’s state-run Global Times warned US President Joe Biden that renewing Quad would be a “serious strategic blunder” and may spark “a severe strategic confrontation” with Beijing.

The newspaper in an expert’s commentary also tried to put a lot of pressure on India, saying India has the power to end the alliance and asked the country to not “completely tie itself to the US’ anti-China chariot.”

Recently Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Biden talked in a phone call in which the two leaders agreed to strengthen the security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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