Quad Foreign Ministers Meet In New Delhi

From left: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar pose for a photo in New Delhi on Friday.

NEW DELHI — The top diplomats of Japan, the United States, Australia and India met in New Delhi on Friday under the quad security framework, vowing to strengthen cooperation and promote a “free and open Indo-Pacific” amid China’s increasingly hegemonic behavior.

Foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his counterparts Penny Wong of Australia, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India and Antony Blinken of the United States participated in the sixth such Quad talks since September.

In the meeting, they confirmed the importance of international principles to prevent unilateral changes in the status quo by force, amid China’s aggressive maritime expansion and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Friday, the foreign ministers issued a joint statement, underscoring the “need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine,” and stressing that the “use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.”

As a member of the Quad, India hopes to make its presence felt in the international community to contain China, with which it has been at loggerheads over a border dispute.

Meanwhile, Japan, the United States and Australia are hoping to bring India on their side over Russia to increase pressure on Moscow, which has maintained warm ties with New Delhi.

Hayashi was to hold talks with Jaishankar on Friday to convey that Japan’s focus on India remains unchanged, after missing the Group of 20 foreign ministers’ meeting in India because of Diet commitments.