WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet almost on Thursday with his colleagues from Jan, Australia and India in the “Quad” framework, a grouping seen as part of efforts to balance China’s growing military and economic power.
The meeting, announced by State Department spokesman Ned Price at a regular briefing on Wednesday, will be the first of the informal group under the Biden administration to take office on January 20, although it has discussed its future role in bilateral calls with members since then. .
“This discussion with the Quad Foreign Ministers is crucial to advancing our common goals in the open and open Indo-Pacific and rising to the defining challenges of our time, including coordinating our efforts and COVID-19 response as well as climate change,” Price said.
Blinken will also discuss common global challenges with colleagues from France, Germany and the UK in a separate call on Thursday, Price said.
President Joe Biden has said close cooperation with the Allies will be key to his strategy towards China, where he has said the United States will aim to “compete” in Beijing.
Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed in a phone call last week to strengthen Indo-Pacific security through the Quad.
Jan hosted a personal meeting with Quad foreign ministers in October, and the four countries the following month held their largest joint naval exercises for over a decade.