Quad leaders hail talks, agree annual summit

The leaders of Japan, the United States, Australia and India have wrapped up talks aimed at ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region. It was the first ever in-person summit of the so-called Quad alliance.

The participants hailed the talks as a success and said they plan to make it an annual summit.

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said, "This event demonstrates the strong solidarity between our four countries and our unwavering commitment to the common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific."

US President Joe Biden called the four "a group of democratic partners who share a world view and a common vision for the future."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the potential of the alliance, saying, "I believe the Quad will bring peace and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific region and to the world."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, "We stand together in a region that we wish to be always free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected. We come together in collective strength."

The four leaders agreed to work more closely together in a variety of fields, including their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

They discussed specific initiatives, such as collaborating to produce more coronavirus vaccines and supplying some to the Indo-Pacific region.

The leaders agreed to cooperate in infrastructure building, space development, clean energy, and human exchanges.

They adopted a statement regarding principles on the design, development and use of the high-speed, high-capacity 5G and other key technologies.

On climate change, Prime Minister Suga has expressed Japan's intention to join a US-led initiative to reduce global emissions of methane.

The leaders also discussed the Indo-Pacific region's role in maintaining the international order after China and Taiwan's applications to join a trans-Pacific trade partnership.