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Quad Leader for Vaccines, Infrastructure and Technology — US Officials

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

Washington — Friday’s first face-to-face meeting of quad group country leaders — the United States, Japan, Australia and India — will bring progress in several areas, including infrastructure, health and cyber. I told Reuters.

Quad leaders Joseph R. Biden, Jr., US President, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison will also discuss regional security, officials said Thursday. rice field. It is not the focus of informal grouping gathered in response to China’s growing power.

Officials who did not want to be identified refused to provide details, but said they “must say a lot” about the next step in vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We have what we call deliverables in a wider range of health initiatives related to infrastructure, space science and technology, and cyber,” he said.

He called the promise to supply 1 billion coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shots across Asia by the end of 2022 at the Quad Leader’s Virtual Conference in March “important.”

“Obviously, there were challenges in India during the summer, but … we believe it is important to meet the ambitions we presented at the time.”

The March initiative stalled after India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines, was hit by a catastrophic surge in infections and stopped all vaccine exports.

India has since stated that it is ready to resume vaccine exports in the October quarter, giving top priority to the COVAX International Vaccine Initiative and neighboring countries.

The quad meeting was immediately criticized by China just over a week after the United States, Britain and Australia announced a security agreement called AUKUS to help Australia buy a US nuclear submarine.

US officials called the meeting “historical” on Friday, giving four leaders the opportunity to speak openly about “modern challenges, their hopes and aspirations.”

“We’ll talk about a lot of things, including community security, but we’ll also talk about our goals for education and infrastructure,” he said.

“In front of us, there is a thickening of our four-country ties and ties,” he said. “What we really want to do is create more free discussion opportunities.”

At the same time, when asked how the quad relates to the AUKUS partnership, he added: “This is a standalone group and has nothing to do with the recently launched AUKUS. This is an unofficial group. It does not address security issues.”

Citing the draft of the joint summit, Japan’s Nikkei Business is expected to agree last week that leaders will take steps to build a secure semiconductor supply chain, an important area of ​​competition with China. I reported.

Officials said Biden had targeted 100 students (25 from each of the four countries) on Friday to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Masters and PhDs in the United States. “Elite” announced that it will announce a privately funded quad fellowship program. state.

Compared to the Rhodes Scholarship program in the United Kingdom, officials said the fellowship would be run by the Schmidt Futures charity initiative founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

“We really aim to connect our country in the long run by connecting our youth. They have a sense of purpose and a sense that the quad is certainly a unique and important group,” he said. Said.

In a statement, CEO Eric Braverman said he was “honored” for Schmidt Futures to lead the Quad Fellowship.

China has accused the quad of the Cold War structure and said the AUKUS alliance will intensify the arms race in the region.

US officials have rejected Beijing’s concerns, noting that China has experienced one of the fastest military expansions in history in recent decades.

“Dramatic steps have been taken in China’s military buildup over the last few decades, many of which have caused anxiety in the region,” officials said. — — David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina / Reuters

Quad Leader for Vaccines, Infrastructure and Technology — US Officials Quad Leader for Vaccines, Infrastructure and Technology — US Officials

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