May 18, 2023: On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that a Quad summit would only go ahead in Sydney next week with U.S. President Biden, who cancelled his trip to Australia because of the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington.
Albanese stated that the leaders of Australia, the United States, India and Japan would instead meet the G7 in Japan this weekend after Biden cancelled a trip to Sydney on the second leg of his upcoming Asia trip, which included a visit to Papua New Guinea.
“The Quad leaders meeting will not be in Sydney next week. We, though, will be having that discussion amid Quad leaders in Japan,” Albanese told a news conference.
A bilateral program in Sydney with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could still go forward in the upcoming week, Albanese said.
Albanese should have commented on whether Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would still visit Sydney in the upcoming week.
The Quad is an informal talk that promotes an open Indo-Pacific. Beijing sees it as a trial to push back against its growing regional influence.
Asia Society Policy Institute senior fellow Richard Maude stated that the cancellation of Biden’s visit to Papua in recent Guinea, which would have been the initial visit by an American president to a separate Pacific islands nation, setting back Washington’s battle for influence with Beijing in the region.
“The mantra in the region is all regarding turning up. Turning up is half the battle. China hangs up all the time, and so the optics aren’t great,” Maude, a retired Australian intelligence chief, told a panel talks on the Quad.
India and Australia are not related to the G7 firm of seven rich nations – Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United States but have been invited to Japan’s summit.