12 Mar 2021: Quad Summit: 'United by democratic values,' says PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed the first virtual summit of the leaders of the Quad, which includes Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.
The four nations are "united by our democratic values," said PM Modi in his opening remarks for the summit, which is set to discuss vaccines, climate change, and emerging technologies.
Here are more details.
Statement: 'Will work together, closer than ever'
"We are united by our democratic values, and our commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific," Modi said.
"Our agenda today—covering areas like vaccines, climate change, and emerging technologies—makes the Quad a force for global good," he said, "We will work together, closer than ever before, for advancing our shared values and promoting a secure, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific."
Other leaders: What did the other leaders say?
In his opening remarks, US President Joe Biden said that the Quad—short for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—is going to be a "vital arena of cooperation in the Indo-Pacific."
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the summit as a "new dawn" in the Indo-Pacific.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the Quad will strive for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Context: Summit comes amid rising tensions with China
The summit comes amid rising tensions with China, which has likened the grouping to a "mini NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)."
The Quad aims to counter China's rising influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Ahead of the summit, China had said that exchanges and cooperation between the four countries should contribute to mutual understanding rather than "targeting" a third party.
History: Quad held key military exercise last year
The Quad was first formed in 2007, however, it had failed to take off amid apprehensions over rubbing China off the wrong way.
The grouping was revived in 2017 and has since held regular meetings.
Last year, the four-nation alliance participated in the massive Malabar naval drill, the first time all four members came together for the exercise since 2007.