Quad leaders agree to oppose any change in status quo by force or coercion

The leaders of the Quad countries have agreed to strongly oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion. It is likely that they had China's growing influence in the East and South China seas in mind.

The Quad is a four-way security forum that consists of Japan, the United States, Australia and India. The leaders met on Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in the western Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met at a hotel in the city. The hotel is the main venue of the G7 summit, which is now underway.

Speaking at the start of the meeting, Kishida pointed out that the global security situation has become increasingly tense, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Kishida said under these difficult circumstances, it is vital that the leaders of the four nations get together and show the rest of the international community that they are committed to their shared goal --- the creation of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

With China's recent maritime activities in the East and the South China seas in mind, the leaders agreed to strongly oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the region by force or coercion.

They also confirmed that the Quad nations will work together practically, while listening to the opinions of ASEAN member nations, South Asian countries, Pacific Island countries, and developing nations.

Regarding the situation in Ukraine, the leaders agreed to support a fair and permanent peace in accordance with the UN Charter.

They did not mention Russia by name, out of consideration for India. New Delhi has amicable relations with Moscow.

However, Kishida noted that he will never accept Russia's use of, or threats to use, nuclear weapons. The other three leaders agreed with him.

The four leaders agreed to hold another meeting next year in India.