Mr Morrison was referring to the so-called debt diplomacy where countries like China in particular convince developing countries to accept loans they may not be able to manage, resulting in a loan failure and the lender like China takes control of any assets against which the loan was backed.
The Quad also announced an agreement on essential minerals and clean energy supply chains, vaccine support, zero-emission shipping and investments in education, including scholarships for students from each of the Quad country to pursue higher education.
They have also established a group of vaccine experts, which will forge strong links and better align plans to support Indo-Pacific health security and the COVID-19 response.
Clean Energy Summit February, March
Mr Morrison has proposed a clean energy supply chain summit in Australia early next year, bringing together experts, to accelerate practical changes in the four countries over the next decade.
China dominates the production of key points along critical minerals and clean energy supply chains, and these steps taken by the Quad to accelerate its own development and investment in these areas are a clear attempt to counter the control of China.
Among the ambitious deals will be a dramatic improvement in essential supply chains for minerals and clean energy. The plan is to speed up approvals for producers, but also to speed up agreements between customers and producers.
Mr Morrison noted that there had been a lot of talk around semiconductors the vast majority of which are made in Taiwan or China and where their supply has been significantly affected by COVID.
The Quad has also launched an infrastructure partnership that will meet regularly to coordinate efforts.
The clean energy summit proposed by Mr. Morrison in February or March next year would bring together Quad partners as well as other key Indo-Pacific partners to address the risks and opportunities of supply, production , transmission, distribution and demand for the Indo-Pacific over the next decade and beyond.
Meeting with the IMF, the World Bank
Mr. Morrison hopes that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will increase their support to the countries of the Indo-Pacific in these areas outlined by the Quad.
The World Bank was recently mired in a controversy over its Doing Business report where there are allegations the former bank boss helped China rank higher than it otherwise would have. . This former boss now heads the IMF.
“I had a very interesting meeting with the IMF and the World Bank,” Mr. Morrison said.
“I was particularly focused on talking to [World Bank president David Malpass] on how the World Bank can work with Quad countries to support clean energy financing in these supply chains and help countries in our region in their transition to this new energy economy and what role the World Bank can play in funding projects that can actually accelerate that.
“This is an important opportunity for us to exchange notes with and understand some of the financial pressures on countries in our region, and how Australia can play a supporting role with the IMF,” Morrison said. .
“We resist any suggestion or pressure that would come upon any of us to be something different from who we are. And we want this opportunity for all the countries of the Indo-Pacific, ”said Mr. Morrison.
“We want this opportunity for all the countries of the Indo-Pacific, whoever they are, they value their sovereignty, they value their independence. And it should be a project shared by all countries.
“We are here, together, in the Indo-Pacific region, a region which we wish to always be free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected and where disputes are resolved peacefully and [in]in accordance with international law.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the latest Quad meeting “demonstrates the strong solidarity between our four nations and our unwavering commitment to the shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
“I am convinced that our cooperation under Quad will ensure prosperity and peace in the Indo-Pacific.”
President Joe Biden also said the Quad represents four great democracies with a long history of cooperation.
“We know how to get things done and we are up to the challenge. “
Responding to a question about what the Indian and Japanese leaders said about the latest AUKUS military intelligence-sharing alliance, Morrison said the two leaders had “warmly welcomed” the news.
“They understand what this partnership means for the Indo-Pacific, and also how it will allow us to better connect the US and UK with them and the work they do.”