Washington [US]March 14 (ANI): After the first virtual summit of the leaders of the Quadruple Security Dialogue (Quad) on March 12, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin announced that he had arrived at the headquarters of the US Indo-Pacific Command on Sunday in Hawaii to start his Asia tour on Monday.
“It’s great to be back in Hawaii. Tomorrow I will start my @INDOPACOM leadership for a week as well as my colleagues in Japan, the Republic of Korea and India. We have many important issues to discuss in order to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, “Austin tweeted.
He will visit three nations – India, Japan and South Korea in the Indo-Pacific region – to discuss strengthening existing partnerships and alliances there, according to a press release from the US Department of Defense.
In both Japan and Korea, the Minister of Defense is accompanied by Foreign Minister Antony J Blinken in meetings with government officials.
The Quad is a strategic forum that spans India, Japan, Australia, and the United States of America.
The Indo-Pacific region is largely considered to be an area that encompasses the Indian Ocean as well as the western and central Pacific, including the South China Sea.
China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to penetrate the Indian Ocean have challenged the established rules-based system.
In addition, China has criticized the framework as an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that seeks to undermine its legitimate rise. (ANI)