Biden Prepares for Four-Party Talks with India, Japan and Australia


US President Joe Biden wraps up his Asian tour on Tuesday with a meeting with four Indo-Pacific leaders, including Australia’s new prime minister and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Former Vice President Biden will meet with the new inauguration from Australia’s Anthony Albanese after a four-party meeting of a security group known as Quad, apart from Modi. The partnership, which includes the United States, Australia, India and Japan, has become increasingly relevant as Biden focuses more on the region and adjusts US foreign policy to counter China as an emerging economic and security powerhouse.

Ahead of the fourth summit, Biden will make a blunt statement on Monday stating that the US will intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan and that the burden of protecting Taiwan will “get stronger” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The White House argues that Biden’s unusually strong reference to Taiwan does not correspond to a change in US policy on the autonomous provinces China claims to be its territory.

White House officials at the fourth meeting said the situation in Ukraine would be on the agenda. Former Vice President Biden on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with Japan’s efforts to impose sanctions on Russia and send humanitarian aid to Kyiv.

But the White House was disappointed with India’s response to the aggression.

Biden has asked Modi not to rush to buy Russian oil as the US and other allies are trying to squeeze Moscow’s energy imports. The Indian prime minister has not publicly promised a halt to Russian oil production, and former Vice President Biden has publicly referred to India as “a little shaken” in its response to the invasion.

Unlike other Quad countries and nearly all U.S. allies, India has not imposed sanctions, nor has it criticized Russia, its largest supplier of military equipment. Faced with pressure from the West, India condemned the deaths of civilians in Ukraine and called for an immediate end to hostilities. But it also aggravated the aftermath of the war, which created global food shortages by banning wheat exports at a time when hunger was at increasing risk in parts of the world.

Biden and Modi talked about the Russian invasion at their virtual fourth summit in March, and last month had a brief video conversation between Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as they met with Indian counterparts in Washington.

“So it’s not going to be a new conversation,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said. “It will be a continuation of the conversations they have already had about the situation in Ukraine and the impact of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine on widespread concerns around the world,” he said.

While Biden and Modi could avoid an open confrontation over how to respond to Russian aggression, the issue remains a major issue as the US and its allies work to escalate pressure on Putin, the center said. Michael Green, senior vice president of Asia, said. Washington Strategic and International Studies.

“It seems very clear that the Biden administration does not want a problem with India and that most of these difficult conversations will be conducted in private,” said Green, a senior national security adviser during the George W. Bush administration.

According to the senior administration, the quad leader will announce several modest initiatives, including a new effort to deliver a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to the countries most in need, and programs to help countries improve security and environmental awareness of their territorial waters. I expected it. Officials who previewed upcoming announcements on condition of anonymity.

Quad committed to donate 1.2 billion vaccines worldwide last year. So far, the group has provided about 257 million doses, officials said.

Former Vice President Biden will also meet with an Albanian who took the oath on Monday and flew straight to Tokyo for the summit. The center-left Labor leader spoke on the phone after defeating Prime Minister Scott Morrison to end a nine-year-old conservative government in Australia.

“That’s the promise we made,” Biden said Monday when asked if the US would take military action if China invaded Taiwan. He added that the idea of ​​China taking Taiwan by force was “inappropriate”, comparing it to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said US policy “has not changed at all”.

Nevertheless, the US has traditionally avoided such explicit security guarantees for Taiwan, which has no longer signed a mutual defense treaty. Instead, it maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about how far you are willing to go.

The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 made it US policy not to require US military intervention in the event of a Chinese invasion, but to ensure that Taiwan has the resources to defend itself and prevent a unilateral change of status. . to Beijing.

Japanese officials also tried to ignore Biden’s comments about Taiwan. Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters that “Japan and the United States have not made any policy shifts toward Taiwan.”

This issue is not of little concern to Japan. About 55,000 US troops are stationed in Japan, most of them in Okinawa, 100 km (60 miles) west of Taiwan’s western tip.

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Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller from Washington, Mari Yamaguchi from Tokyo, and Ashok Sharma from New Delhi contributed to the report.

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