US President Joe Biden used the first face-to-face summit of the Quad group on Friday to consolidate it as a bulwark of democracy against Chinese expansion and dominance in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Quad, made up of India, Australia, Japan and the US, was created in 2007 and lay dormant for years until Biden decided to resurrect it with a first virtual meeting of his heads of state and government in March.
This time, seated together in the East Room of the White House, Biden and Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaped their alliance.
At the beginning of the meeting, Biden described the Quad as a group of countries that share a similar vision of the world and, with special emphasis, stated: "We are four major democracies with a long history of cooperation. We know how to get things done, and we are up to the challenge."
In what was his last visit to the White House as Japan's leader, Suga said the Quad meeting reflects the "strong solidarity between our four nations and our unwavering commitment to the common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific."
Morrison also echoed that aspiration for an Indo-Pacific "free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected and where disputes are settled peacefully in accordance with international law."