WASHINGTON President Biden and the leaders of Japan, India and Australia agreed in a virtual meeting Friday to work together to dramatically increase global production of coronavirus vaccines. This should be part of a wider cooperation against China.

On Friday, Biden met with leaders of the so-called Quad group for a virtual meeting, his first such summit as president, to talk about producing more vaccines for people in the Indo-Pacific region.

The group also agreed to cooperate on climate change, counterterrorism and technology protection, and to strengthen shared values and international law in addressing issues ranging from security in the South China Sea to cyberspace.

The four countries form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, an alliance on mutual concerns about China that was a subtext of Friday’s meeting but did not dominate the discussion, the national security adviser said.

Jake Sullivan.

said after the virtual summit.

Although the four leaders talked about the challenge posed by China and made it clear that none of them are under any illusions about China, today is not primarily about China, he told reporters.

Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Biden and the vice president attended the meeting.

Kamala Harris.

Interview with the Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

India, Prime Minister

Scott Morrison.

Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers

Yoshihide Suga.

Biden said the Quad is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, referring to China’s security challenges but not mentioning that country by name.

The United States is committed to working with you, our partners and all of our allies in the region to achieve stability, he said. The group, he said, is committed to practical solutions and concrete results to achieve this goal.

Sullivan said the four leaders found common ground by committing to produce 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of 2022 to help defeat the pandemic worldwide.

Mr. Suga will be the first foreign head of state to visit Mr. Biden at the White House.

Photo:

POOL/Zuma Press

These efforts come amid severe vaccine shortages in Southeast Asia, leaving health experts concerned about the spread of Covid-19 and its variants. The vaccine shortage has raised concerns about US foreign policy, as China’s offer to supply vaccines to countries could increase Beijing’s influence over countries in the region.

Quadrangle partners are working to develop India’s vaccine production facilities, while the U.S. Development Finance Corporation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are assisting with financing and logistics. Japan’s Bank for International Cooperation could also play a role, according to plans announced by the White House on Friday.

India has long been the world’s largest producer of vaccines, supplying more than half of the doses shipped worldwide. The world’s largest manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, produced more than 1.5 billion doses of vaccine a year before the pandemic. Indian companies specialize in providing a wide range of affordable vaccines, often for just a few dollars per injection.

Since the defeat of Covid-19, the Serum Institute of India is one of the first companies to mass produce a vaccine developed

AstraZeneca

PLC and Oxford University. With a production capacity of more than 50 million doses per month, the company is currently able to meet all Indian vaccine needs within the local vaccine supply infrastructure and has a lot left over for exports.

In his first address to the nation, President Biden urged states to expand access to the Covid 19 vaccine and vaccinate every adult in the United States by January 1. May is entitled to it. Photo: Almond Ngan/AFP

India has launched its own vaccine diplomacy initiative and has exported about 60 million doses – eight million of which have been donated – mainly to poor countries in Asia and Africa. The company was initially contracted by AstraZeneca to produce the vaccine for middle- and low-income countries, but has also been approached by wealthier countries, including neighboring U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.

White House officials described Friday’s meeting as the first in a series of events designed to highlight the importance of the Asia-Pacific region.

Anthony Blinken

and the Minister of Defense

Lloyd Austin

will travel separately to Japan and South Korea next week, their first trip abroad.

Blinken and Sullivan will also meet their Chinese counterparts in Alaska next week, but U.S. officials said the meeting will not cover the details of trade issues, disputes over sanctions or export controls, but will focus on the prospects for future negotiations.

This is our attempt to make clear to the Chinese government how the United States intends to act strategically, what we believe are our core interests and values, and what our concerns are about their activities, whether in Hong Kong, Xinjiang or the Taiwan Strait, Sullivan said.

He added that other issues raised during Friday’s quadrilateral meeting, such as China’s alleged coercion towards Australia, harassment over the Senkaku Islands and the India-China dispute along their common border, will also be addressed.

The White House and Japanese government also announced that Suga will visit Biden at the White House next month, becoming the first foreign leader to do so. In September, Mr. Suga was elected Prime Minister of Japan, succeeding Mr. Bhagwati.

Shinzo Abe,

who resigned for health reasons.

Email Gordon Lubold at [email protected] and Alex Leary at [email protected]

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