The Straits Times says

Ukraine, Russia weigh on Quad's plans

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Once dismissed as "ocean foam" by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, it is clear that the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, is gathering traction. Last Friday's gathering in Melbourne of the United States' Secretary of State and his counterparts from Australia, Japan and India was the fourth Quad foreign ministers' meeting since the inaugural one in New York in 2019, Tokyo in 2020 and a virtual meeting in February last year. In between, Quad leaders have also met, including at an in-person summit hosted by US President Joe Biden in the White House. It is perhaps not an accident that this most recent ministerial meeting was held in the middle of the Olympic Winter Games hosted by Beijing.

The Quad and the relatively newer Aukus - the Australia, United Kingdom and US security grouping - underscore the renewed US strategic thrust towards the Asia-Pacific which gathered pace during the Obama administration. Starting with nomenclature - the region is now referred to as "Indo-Pacific" to deliberately conflate the security issues of the Pacific and Indian Oceans - Washington has steadily raised diplomatic and military attention towards it. The just-released updated US strategy on Indo-Pacific speaks of building collective capacity for a new age, via deepened treaty alliances with Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand and strengthening ties with regional partners including Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and India.

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