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U.S. says looking at Quad meeting in fall focused on infrastructure By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Asia Group Chairman and CEO Kurt M. Campbell attends the China Development Forum in Beijing, China March 23, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

By David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is looking to convene an in-person fall summit of leaders of the Quad international locations – Australia, India and Japan – with a spotlight on infrastructure in the face of the problem from China, President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific coverage coordinator mentioned on Wednesday.

Kurt Campbell mentioned different international locations have been welcome to work with the Quad, which held a primary digital summit in March and pledged to work carefully on COVID-19 vaccines, local weather and safety.

“We want to look this fall to convene an in-person Quad and the hope will be to make a similar kind of engagement on infrastructure more generally,” Campbell advised a web-based occasion hosted by Stanford University.

“And I do want to underscore … this is not a fancy club. If there are other countries that believe that they’d like to engage and work with us, the door will be open as we go forward,” Campbell mentioned.

The March Quad summit was rigorously choreographed to counter China’s rising affect and Biden and his fellow leaders pledged to work to make sure a free and open Indo-Pacific in the face of challenges from Beijing.

They additionally agreed to carry an in-person summit this yr. A White House official mentioned it had but to be determined the place or precisely when the summit can be held.

Campbell mentioned there was now a brand new set of strategic parameters when it got here to China and “a period that had been broadly described as engagement has come to an end.”

“The dominant paradigm is going to be competition. Our goal is to make that a stable, peaceful competition that brings out the best in us,” he mentioned, whereas cautioning: “There will likely be periods ahead, in which there will be moments of concern.”

Campbell mentioned the “operating system” the United States had helped construct in Asia remained intact however was “under substantial strain” in the face of China’s rise.

“It’s going to need to be reinvigorated in a number of ways, not just by the United States, but other countries that use the operating system and that means Japan, that means South Korea, Australia, countries in Europe that want to do more in Asia and across the board.”

Campbell mentioned it was vital for the United States to have a “positive economic vision of what it wants to contribute, what it wants to engage on in Asia.”

“We can do everything right in Asia, but without an economic strategy, it’s hard to be successful. That’s what Asians are looking for as we go forward … we’re ambitious about the Quad.”

Biden, who’s pushing for giant infrastructure spending at house, mentioned in March he had urged to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that democratic international locations ought to have an infrastructure plan to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Belt and Road is a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by China’s President Xi Jinping involving tasks from East Asia to Europe and seen as a way of considerably increasing Beijing’s financial and political affect.

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