Biden to host “Quad” summit with leaders of Australia, India and Japan

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The virtual Quad gathering in March, with (clockwise from top-left) Biden, Suga, Modi and Morrison. Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

President Biden will host the leaders of Australia, India and Japan at the White House on Sept. 24 — the first time the leaders of the “Quad” countries will gather for an in-person summit.

Why it matters: Elevating the Quad is a key aspect of Biden’s strategy for competing with China. All four countries have butted heads with Beijing in recent years, making them increasingly willing to cooperate in a forum that Beijing rejects as an anti-China bloc.

  • The leaders met virtually in March and announced a plan to increase vaccine supplies to countries in Southeast Asia — a plan that was later complicated when India stopped most vaccine exports.
  • The White House referred to the gathering as the “first-ever Quad Leaders Summit,” a description which seems to suggest there could be additional summits to come.
  • It will be the first visit to Biden’s White House for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited in April.

What to watch: The Quad countries aren’t always aligned in terms of how closely they should coordinate, or how willing they should be to risk angering Beijing. Still, some in Washington see the Quad as the foundation of what could eventually become a NATO for the 21st century.

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