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India, Australia junk China terming QUAD as Asian NATO

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) India and Australia on Saturday jointly junked China’s claims that the QUAD is akin to Asian NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation).

The QUAD, officially the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, came up as an informal group of three countries: The US, Australia and Japan. Later India joined the group.

Formed in 1949, NATO is a military alliance of 28 European countries and two North American nations to promote democratic values and commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes.

With growing QUAD influence in the Indo-Pacific region promoting free, open and inclusive region-based international law, China has been calling it as the Asian NATO.

After the India-Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue here on Saturday, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said: “QUAD is a platform where four countries have come to cooperate for their benefit and world’s benefit.”

Junking China’s reference to QUAD as Asian NATO, Jaishankar said: “Looking back, I think a term like NATO is a Cold War term. QUAD looks at the future. It reflects globalisation and compulsion of countries to work together.

“If you look at the issues QUAD has focused on today like vaccines, supply chains etc., I can’t see any relation with NATO or any other organisation. I think it’s important not to misrepresent what is the reality out there.”

Jaishankar’s Australian counterpart Marise Payne also expressed similar views on China’s claims.

The Australian Foreign Minister said: “As Australia and India have re-energised relations, there is also the opportunity to work through smaller groups like the QUAD or other pieces of regional architecture like ASEAN. QUAD members are champions of ASEAN’s centrality.”

The QUAD Leadership Summit is likely to take place on September 24 and it is expected to be attended by the heads of the QUAD member states, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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