The war in Ukraine has become a “global problem” with ramifications far beyond Europe. This was noted during today’s meeting in Tokyo of the leaders of the “Square” group (USA, Japan, India and Australia), who concluded that “a unilateral and violent change of the status quo” cannot be tolerated in any world. , including the Indo-Pacific region, where their interests converge.
In their speeches today, both US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stressed the need to prevent “a war like the one Russia unleashed” in the region, an aggression they called “terrible” and “inhumane.” “This is more than a European problem, it is a global problem,” the American stressed.
The war in Ukraine is “more than a European problem, it is a global problem,” Biden said.
At their second face-to-face meeting, the members of this group, promoted by Washington, agreed on concrete initiatives to expand their cooperation in areas such as maritime security, climate change, global health and infrastructure, among others.
At its conclusion, they issued a joint statement rejecting “any attempt to change the status quo and disturb stability or peace anywhere in the world.” In addition, the Quartet is committed to advancing its principles of freedom, the rule of law, territorial integrity and the peaceful resolution of conflicts and addressing the “tragic humanitarian crisis” and “impact for the Indo-Pacific region” resulting from the war.
However, in this final text there was no condemnation or direct mention of Moscow, which is associated with India’s participation in the forum. Since the beginning of the conflict, the country, led by Narendra Modi, has maintained a position of neutrality and refrained from openly criticizing Russia, with which it has close trade and military ties.
When asked about this, Kishida acknowledged that during the meeting “there may have been different positions” on some aspects, although he emphasized the importance of agreeing on a common message of solidarity in defense of international law and against unilateral aggression.
Kishida admitted that at the time of the appointment “there may have been different positions” in some aspects
Another long shadow looming over the meeting was China, a country that accuses the Square of seeking to become a “mini-NATO” of the Pacific. Not surprisingly, each of the participants has their own differences with the Asian giant, and all are suspicious of its growing power and influence in the region.
Although without explicitly mentioning Beijing, the Quartet condemned “the militarization of disputed areas, the dangerous use of coast guard ships and navy militia, and attempts to obstruct the activities of other countries in the development of marine resources.” giant.
To curb its geostrategic boom, the four leaders also agreed on initiatives such as a plan to strengthen cooperation with and support development of the Pacific island countries, or a commitment to provide $50 billion over the next five years to fund regional infrastructure projects.
The gesture to these island nations comes in the context of rising tensions with some of them moving closer to Beijing, such as the recently signed security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands, which includes defense assistance.
It was the Solomon Islands government that confirmed today that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit them this week, with whom they will sign a number of “important” bilateral agreements. In addition to his capital, Honiara, the Chinese Foreign Minister will travel with a delegation of 20 to other Pacific countries, including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa and East Timor.
Tuesday’s summit also marked the departure of Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese. The leader of the Labor Party won last Saturday’s general election, ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule in Canberra.
Biden says US policy on Taiwan ‘has not changed’
US President Joe Biden said today that US policy on Taiwan “hasn’t changed at all.” His words came after he said the day before that Washington would intervene militarily if China tried to seize the island by force.
“The policy has not changed at all. I already said that when I made my statement the day before,” he said Tuesday when asked if the United States was dropping its “strategic ambiguity” stance on Taiwan.
Under this policy, Washington sold weapons to Taipei for decades, but never explicitly stated whether it would come to its aid in the event of a conflict. Thus, he is trying to dissuade Beijing from trying to take over Taiwan by force, preventing Taipei from getting inspired by its support and officially declaring independence, which could provoke a conflict with dire consequences.
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