The four-member group all have China as a common adversary
Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, will meet his counterparts from Australia, India and Japan in Tokyo. The group, informally called the Quad, will meet to work on a joint strategy against China as it asserts more power internationally. The Quadrilateral Initiative began in Philippines in 2007 with the four countries holding their meeting in Manila. The group was the brainchild of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Each of the four members currently have some kind of regional or trade dispute going on with China.
“Looking forward to discussing increased cooperation to promote our shared vision for a free and open #IndoPacific, composed of nations that are independent, strong, and prosperous,” Mr Pompeo tweeted on departure.
China takes a positive note
The Chinese foreign ministry said that it hoped the meeting will help issues in the region and will bring more peace and stability. The spokesperson also hoped that the results will not be in the opposite direction.
“We hope relevant countries can proceed from the common interests of countries in the region, and do more things that are conducive to regional peace, stability and development, not the other way around,” AFP quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin as saying.
Current issues with China
The member states of the Quad have had their tiffs with China, both in the short and long term. China has become a world economic power and has taken the mantle from the U.S. in many fields. Japan and China have historically had issues, especially after the Second World War when the Japanese committed mass-scale war atrocities in the country. India’s bid to become a regional power has also been undermined by the Chinese influence and support of Pakistan. They also have had skirmishes with China in recent months, losing both troops and territory as a result. Australia and China have also had issues related to the former’s media personnel as recently as last month.