The Quad meet comes at a time when an increasingly aggressive China is trying to become a hegemon in the region

India, Japan, Australia and the US on Tuesday held their second ministerial-level meeting in Tokyo and exchanged views about regional issues of mutual interest. They reaffirmed their collective vision of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

“The Foreign Ministers (of Quad) exchanged views about regional issues of mutual interest, and issues related to connectivity; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief; maritime safety and security; health security, and counter terrorism,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

At the highly significant Quadrilateral meeting, while India was represented by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Japan by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Australia by Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, the US was led by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

These Foreign Ministers “reiterated their firm support to the ASEAN centrality and highlighted their readiness to work towards realizing a common vision for the Indo-Pacific,” the MEA said.

Appreciating the value of these consultations, the Quad Foreign Ministers agreed to hold such meetings regularly.

The Quad Foreign Ministers also followed up on their discussions in September 2019 and discussed the post Covid-19 international order.

“They called for a coordinated response to the challenges including financial problems emanating from the pandemic; need to share best practices to combat Covid-19; increasing the resilience of supply chains; and enhancing access to affordable vaccines, medicines and medical equipment,” the MEA said.

The External Affairs Minister also had bilateral meetings with US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, and will be meeting Marise Payne, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia; and Foreign Minister of Japan Toshimitsu Motegi.

These meetings provided the respective Ministers an opportunity to review ongoing bilateral cooperation and discuss regional, global and other issues of mutual interest, said the MEA