US, Indo-Pacific allies to expand India's vaccine production

US, Indo-Pacific allies to expand India's vaccine production”

Meanwhile a senior U.S. military official has described a recent missile launch in the South China Sea as an "unmistakable message" to the United States.

Biden on Wednesday said the USA would share any surplus vaccines "with the rest of the world".

"There will always be overlapping interests and areas of mutual concern, and the Quad can focus on vaccine access or infrastructure financing in Southeast Asia as examples of this", said Natasha Kassam, a former Australian diplomat who is the director of the Lowy Institute's public opinion and foreign policy program.

U.S. officials cast the meeting as a key way of exerting pressure as India and Japan enjoy closer relationships with Myanmar's military - which has historically counted on China as its main source of support.

China's state-run Global Times newspaper criticised the Quad summit as a USA plot against Beijing, saying in an opinion piece that India - which has rapidly warming relations with the United States but is not a treaty-bound ally - should have taken a distance.

The United States, Britain, European Union nations and other WTO members on Wednesday blocked a push by more than 80 developing countries to grant the waiver.

"If you ask all four, are you against China or is this an anti-China club, they say no", he said.

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Australia's relationship with China has soured over a series of trade disputes. Tens of thousands of soldiers are facing each other at friction points in the region.

Administration officials said Suga will be the first world leader to visit Biden in person at the White House, though the exact timing of the trip has yet to be determined. A date has not been set for the visit.

At a separate briefing, the White House said: "That President Biden has made this one of his earliest multilateral engagements speaks to the importance we place on close cooperation with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific".

"We see ourselves as a Pacific nation".

Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of US Indo-Pacific Command, has apprised Congress about China's increasing offensive military build-up and its expanding regional footprint, according to CNN. "For us, this is where we live, this is where Japan lives, where India lives and of course with United States across the Pacific has had a long-term presence, so this is about an anchor for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, and that benefits all nations of the Indo-Pacific", Morrison told reporters.

Friday's four-way summit, while virtual, will mark the first time that leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia have met together following more than a decade of meetings at lower levels of the so-called "Quad".

On the meeting between the top diplomats of the US and China set to be held in Alaska on March 18 - Yang Jiechi, a member of the Politburo and director of the Central Committee's Foreign Affairs Commission, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will travel for talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan - Mr. Zhao, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, termed the meet "a high-level strategic dialogue". Austin will then head to India on his own, while Blinken will head to Anchorage, Alaska, along with national security adviser Jake Sullivan, to meet with their Chinese counterparts.

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