New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a two-day visit to India, on Wednesday said that Quad is not a military alliance rather its purpose is to advance cooperation on regional challenges while reinforcing international rules and values.
"Quad is not a military alliance. Its purpose is to advance cooperation on regional challenges while reinforcing international rules and values that we believe together underpin peace, prosperity, stability in the region," said Blinken.
On the issue related to the formation of Quad, he said, "It's quite simple but as important. Four like-minded countries (US, India, Japan and Australia) coming together to work on some of the most important issues of the time that are going to have a real impact on the lives of the people and do in a way that ensures a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Quad is a grouping of India, the USA, Australia and Japan that aims to safeguard the interests of democratic nations in the Indo-Pacific region and address global challenges.
The establishment of the Quad was intended to create an "Arc of Democracy" in Asia, and many observers view it as a move by Asian powers, in collaboration with the United States, to curb China's coercive, growing influence.
China's rulers are intent on ensuring that the Quad is not expanded to include countries in Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula.
Amid China's opposition to the Quad grouping, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that certain countries should get over the idea that "other countries are doing things that are directed against them".
Addressing a joint presser with the US counterpart Antony Blinken, who is on a two-day India visit, Jaishankar said: "In a globalised world India has interests that are far beyond its immediate neighbours. People need to get over ideas that somehow other countries doing things is directed against them. Countries do things that are in their interests for their good and the good of the word and that is exactly the case with the Quad."Earlier, Quad in March organised the first-ever leaders' summit virtually wherein all the four heads of the state participated.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden's administration has proposed the first in-person "Quad" meeting with leaders of India, Japan and Australia in late September.
This meeting would mark unity among the four Indo-Pacific democracies amid China's growing assertiveness, President Biden is seeking to build "a position of strength" to directly engage with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
This meeting is scheduled to take place after the general debate of the UN General Assembly, which is to be held in September in New York City.
The meeting is expected to clamp down on China's so-called 'vaccine diplomacy', in which Beijing is giving vaccine shots to the developing nations.
Various issues including vaccine production and cooperation in infrastructural projects could also be discussed in this meeting. (ANI)