US calls for a stronger Quad

A senior US official overseeing the Indo-Pacific has urged greater unity among the four nations known as the Quad, in the face of intensifying competition from China. The Quad comprises Japan, the US, Australia and India.

Kurt Campbell, White House NSC Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Affairs, added Japan would host a meeting of the Quad next year.

Campbell said during an online event on Friday that the group would follow through on its commitments and was looking at new initiatives in the Indo-Pacific.

Campbell said expanded US cooperation with allies was causing "heartburn" for China, which he said sees the efforts as "Cold War thinking".

He also acknowledged the Quad is not a formal alliance but an informal gathering, and he did not think the four countries will move in the immediate future to institutionalize the group.

Campbell also referred to a new economic framework the US plans to launch in the Indo-Pacific next year. He said Washington will strengthen cooperation over a wide range of fields, including digital trade, carbon neutrality, workers' rights and supply chains.