President Joe Biden will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday before holding the first in-person Quad Leaders Summit with Modi and leaders from Japan and Australia.
In addition to Biden and Modi, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan are the Quad, officially known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.
During their meeting later Friday, the leaders, who met digitally in March, will address various themes, including improving relations in the face of China's expanding clout in the Indo-Pacific region.
In a statement, White House spokesman Jenn Psaki said, "The Quad Leaders will be focused on deepening our ties and advancing practical cooperation on areas such as combating COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, partnering on emerging technologies and cyberspace, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific."
Before meeting with Biden one-on-one, Modi told reporters that under Biden's leadership, "the seeds have been sown for the expansion of Indo-US relations, and this is going to be a transformative period for all democratic countries in the world."
Biden stated that he predicted India and the United States would be the world's closest countries in 2006. He believes the US-India relationship will "become stronger, closer, and tighter," and that it will benefit the entire globe.
China has been steadily erecting military bases in the region, claiming control of crucial water passages in the process.
The conference in Washington follows the announcement of a deal between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia to supply Australia with nuclear submarines.
The agreement enraged France because it damaged a deal it had with Australia to supply diesel submarines. In protest, France summoned its ambassadors from the United States and Australia.
China has slammed the agreement, calling it a threat to regional peace.
The Quad summit comes as the US and its allies intensify their support for Taiwan, which China regards as a rogue province. The European Union renewed its efforts to "enhance" its naval presence in the region.
Following years of turmoil in the Indo-Pacific region, the Quad was rebuilt in 2017 after collapsing in 2008.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, the partnership is a manifestation of "n "outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical percept"on" that will exacerbate a regional arms race.