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Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Philip Green OAM, on Monday emphasised that there are no plans to increase ‘Quad’ membership, adding that it is “very important” for the countries to frame their relations with China. Addressing an interactive event “Diplomat Diaries”, hosted by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in the national capital, Green emphasised the need to have clarity on Quad membership.

“I think we need to be really clear that the Quad is the quad, four members. There are no plans that I know to increase the membership,” he said. He further said that it is “very important” for the Quad member countries to choose to frame their relations with China. “In my talk, I use the term sovereignty a lot. And for us, it’s very important that states in our region have the opportunity to make sovereign choices about their own destinies in ways that are uncoerced and without undue influence on others,” Green added.

Moreover, the Australian envoy stressed especially that for those leaders who are democratically elected, it is important to make the choices that seem appropriate to them. “So it’s for the leaders of those countries, especially those that are democratically elected, like those of the Solomon Islands, to make the choices that seem appropriate to them,” he said.

Quad is a diplomatic partnership between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States committed to supporting an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient. Last month, in an interview with Newsweek, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Indo-Pacific region is the engine of global trade, innovation and growth and the security of the Indo-Pacific is important not only to the region but to the world.

Answering a query on China and the Quad, he said the US, Australia, Japan, India, and China, all these countries are members of many groups. “We are present in different combinations in different groups. Quad is not aimed against any country. Like many other international groupings, like SCO, BRICS and others, Quad is also a group of like-minded countries working on a shared positive agenda,” he said.