Also dubbed “the Quad”, the informal alliance currently comprised of the US, Japan, Australia and India. Newly elected US President Joe Biden has drafted plans to expand the group in order to deter adventurism by Beijing.
It is understood no firm proposals have yet been given to Mr Johnson but the UK is very interested in joining the group, according to the Spectator.
Kurt Campbell, who was recently appointed as “Asia tsar” in President Biden’s administration, suggested the UK could join the Quad in a bid to ensure China doesn’t overstep the mark.
In a recent essay for Foreign Affairs magazine titled ‘How American Can Shore Up Asian Order’, Mr Campbell also endorsed the UK’s proposal to expand the G7, an intergovernmental organisation consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, US and the EU.
The representatives meet annually for a summit, and the UK has proposed expanding the group to include Australia, India and South Korea.
The group would then be known as the “D10”.
This would help pave the way for the UK joining the Asian alliance, he said.
Mr Johnson has invited the three additional countries to the G7 summit, which is due to be held in Cornwall, England, in June this year.
During the meeting, Australia, India and South Korea’s permanent membership is expected to be formalised.
Commenting on this, Mr Campbell said such a coalition “will be most urgent for questions of trade, technology, supply chains, and standards”.
He added: “Other coalitions, though, might focus on military deterrence by expanding the so-called Quad currently composed of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, infrastructure investment through cooperation with Japan and India, and human rights through the two-dozen states that criticized Beijing’s internment camps in Xinjiang and its assault on Hong Kong’s autonomy.”
Mr Campbell said these coalitions are needed to “create balance in some cases, bolster consensus on important facets of the regional order in others, and send a message that there are risks to China’s present course”.
Britain is one of 24 nations that has criticised China over abuses against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang and the events in Hong Kong.
The UK Government is believed to be in favour of joining the Quad, but is not expected to commit to a decision anytime soon.
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President Biden is taking a fresh approach to foreign policy, ending Donald Trump’s isolationist approach.
On Wednesday Foreign Secretary Donald Trump spoke with his US equivalent Antony Blinken, who was only sworn in as Secretary of State the previous day.
A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said Mr Raab offered his congratulations and said the pair: “Discussed the opportunities to work together on a shared agenda, to reinforce democratic values across the world and to strengthen the two countries’ global alliance.
“They spoke about the upcoming UK’s presidencies of the G7 and COP26, the need to tackle Iranian destabilising behaviour and cooperation to hold China to its international commitments.”
The spokesperson added: “The Foreign Secretary welcomed President Biden’s commitment to tackling climate change, including by re-joining the Paris Agreement, as well as the US re-engaging with the World Health Organisation.”
The pair agreed to speak again soon.
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