External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, on the sidelines of the Quad ministerial meeting and said India and United States will work together for stability and prosperity in the Indian Pacific. Pompeo and Jaishankar are in Tokyo to attend the second foreign ministers’ meeting of the Quadrilateral grouping (India, US, Australia, and Japan). This grouping is seen as a response to China’s growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

It will be the first meeting of Quad foreign ministers amid border tensions between India and China. A meeting of Quad leaders was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last year. The Quad meeting is expected to focus on strategic and security challenges in the region and joint strategy is likely to be discussed. India- Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan have counterclaims in the South China Sea. Beijing’s rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the Indian-Pacific.

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According to the Nikkei Asian Review, several concerned nations are already deepening security ties with each other and the US to mitigate the threat. In recent years, Japan has expressed increasing concerns regarding Beijing’s activities in the region especially concerning the situation with the disputed Senkaku islands, known in China as the Diaoyudao islands, and claimed by Beijing to be Chinese territory.

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