As China flexes its muscles in the Asia-Pacific with increasing aggression, many of its neighbours are naturally wary. Especially as so many of them have already experienced first-hand being monstered by the thousand-pound panda. Whether it’s Taiwan listening to the sabres rattle across the Strait, Japan watching Chinese fighter jets swoop over the Senkaku Islands, India fighting off Chinese soldiers in the Himalayas and Chinese hackers in its cyberspace, or Australia being bullied and browbeaten with trade sanctions and foghorn “diplomacy”. Vietnam and the Philippines as well have seen their fishing boats rammed and sunk by aggressive Chinese fleets.

So its hardly a surprise that the major players in the region are banding together to ring-fence Xi Jinping’s “wolf warriors”. The “Quad” is the so-far informal grouping of the US, Australia, India and Japan. At apparently pleasing odds with his “China Joe” reputation, and in direct contrast to his former boss’s asleep-at-the-wheel approach to China, US President Joe Biden seems to moving the Quad up a notch.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet virtually with US President Joe Biden and the leaders of India and Japan on Saturday in a significant elevation of the “Quad”, a strategic alliance between the four countries.

The White House said the leaders-level meeting, the first since the Quad was founded in 2007, showed the Biden administration is deeply engaged with the Indo-Pacific […]

When announcing the leaders’ meeting on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters: “That President Biden has made this one of his earliest multilateral engagements speaks to the importance we place on close co-operation with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.”

Foreign policy has proven to be one of Scott Morrison’s biggest strengths. In tandem with Foreign Minister Marise Payne, one of the government’s ablest ministers, Morrison has shown surprising backbone in facing down China’s bullying. An elevated Quad alliance will only boost Morrison’s standing.

Experts said the growing importance of the Quad could significantly boost Australia’s global standing given the impressive populations and military capabilities of the fellow members.

The meeting will also involve Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all nations with a deep interest in the region’s security […]

Morrison said he was delighted that the new Biden administration wanted to take the Quad to a “whole new level” by elevating it to a leaders-level dialogue.

He said it was a step that Australia had been “championing for many years”.

“This was the first thing I discussed with President Biden and I was so pleased the new administration [was] also so enthusiastic about this program,” Morrison said, describing the Quad as an “anchor of peace and stability in the region”.

“The Indo-Pacific is our world. This is where Australia lives.”

Sydney Morning Herald

It’s also where New Zealand lives – which raises the question: where’s Jacinda?

The New Zealand prime minister, after all, is not exactly a global unknown. Foreign media regularly fawn over her – and she even gets a whole two paragraphs of mention in Klaus Schwab’s The Great Reset manifesto.

Yet, when it comes to Asia-Pacific nations banding together in mutual co-operation, including two of New Zealand’s traditionally closest allies, Ardern is nowhere to be seen. Far from standing the Quad up, it appears that she wasn’t even invited to the party.

Gee, I wonder why?

None of the other kids want to play with poor Jacinda. The BFD. Photoshop by Lushington Brady.

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Ardern Snubbed by the Quad

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...