Anti-China banners outside the White House in Washington on Friday Photograph:( WION )
Even though there has been no indication on the official level that China will be on the agenda, political analysts have suggested that the Quad leaders might address Beijing's aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea, a free Indo-Pacific, and freedom of navigation.
Anti-China banners were seen outside the White House on Friday morning during a bilateral in-person summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden.
“Chinese communist maliciously released Coronavirus…The four-country summit (a reference to Quad members) must decide to destroy the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) with armed forces,” read one banner outside the White House.
The Biden-Modi meet comes ahead of the Quad leaders' summit, which will be hosted by President Biden and will the see the attendance of Japanese PM Yoshide Suga and Australian PM Scott Morrison, apart from Modi.
Even though there has been no indication on the official level that China will be on the agenda, political analysts have suggested that the Quad leaders might address Beijing's aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea, free Indo-Pacific and freedom of navigation.
India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvrings in the region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.
Earlier today, China criticised the Quad grouping, with its foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian saying that the quadrilateral group should not target any third country and its interests.
“China always believes that any regional cooperation mechanism should not target a third party or harm its interests. Seeking exclusive closed cliques against a third country runs against the trend of the times and aspirations of countries in the region. It will find no support,” he said.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
(With inputs from agencies)