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Quad a message that others can’t veto our choices: EAM Jaishankar

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NEW DELHI: Foreign minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday that

Quad

– which seeks to promote free, open and inclusive

Indo-Pacific

– is here to stay, grow and contribute, calling it a laudable initiative that makes not just the region, but the world as a whole more free, open and much more respectful of international law and a rules-based order.
Speaking at the inaugural

Quad Think Tank Forum

, the minister said Quad comprises five messages, one of which is a statement that in this day and age, others “cannot have a veto on our choices”.

The minister also said that the four-nation group reflects the growth of a

multi-polar order

and that it’s a post-alliance and post-cold war thinking.
According to Jaishankar, Quad is against spheres of influence and expresses the democratising of the global space and a collaborative, not unilateral, approach.
“The natural question that greets any new arrival is the reason for their existence. So let us look at why the Quad? The answer is very simple. It is there for global good and it is there for the global commons. It is facilitated by the emergence of the Indo-Pacific,” said the minister, adding that Quad is propelled by a change in the global order that requires more, not less, collaboration among the like-minded.

Jaishankar said Quad seeks to build

resilient supply chains

in telecom, cyber security, semiconductors and artificial intelligence (AI), promoting cyber awareness and capacity building in the Indo-Pacific, which is vulnerable to cyber threats. Detailing his expectations of the Forum, which was launched in partnership with the Raisina Dialogue, the minister said it should generate new ideas, promote the Quad and also counter any negative propaganda about the group.

Jaishankar described the coalition of India, US, Japan and Australia as an “overhead light” that is a “creative, flexible, nimble, responsive and open-minded” enterprise.
Joining through virtual mode, Australian foreign minister Penny Wong said Quad stands for a region that is “free from intimidation and coercion”, where competition is managed responsibly and disputes are settled in accordance with international law.
Japanese foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa, in a brief video message, said the world is facing deep divisions and it is necessary to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law. “For this reason, Japan with its allies and like-minded countries is working to further develop a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law,” she said.

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