Aircraft carriers and warships participate in the second phase of Malabar naval exercise, a joint exercise comprising of India, US, Japan and Australia, in the Northern Arabian Sea on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. The four countries form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad. (Indian Navy via AP)

President Biden will step up his efforts to counterbalance China through coordination with like-minded countries on Friday when he takes part in a first-of-its-kind summit with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan.

The four nations have cooperated on and off since the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 in an informal grouping known as the “Quad,” short for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

Pompeo Rails Against China At ‘Quad’ Meeting With Foreign Ministers In Tokyo
Pompeo Rails Against China At ‘Quad’ Meeting With Foreign Ministers In Tokyo
The group’s activity, including regional military exercises, has expanded since 2017, but Quad heads of state have never held a summit. Analysts say this week’s virtual meeting reflects mounting concerns about China’s growing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region and cohesion around the idea that joint pushback is needed.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters this week the fact that Biden — barely 50 days into the job — “made this one of his earliest multilateral engagements speaks to the importance we place on close cooperation with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.”

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