Australia pushes for leadership on Indian Pacific health ahead of quad meeting | Australian Foreign Policy

Australia has been urged to take a leading role in promoting health security in the Indian Ocean, with analysts highlighting efforts by China and Russia to increase their regional influence through “vaccine diplomacy”. ڈالی۔

Scott Morrison is likely to be one of the main items on Scott Morrison’s agenda after attending a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden and the prime ministers of Japan and India on Saturday morning.

This will be the first meeting of the leaders of the four “quad” countries, an informal group that China warmly sees as an attempt to curb its growing influence.

During the talks, Quad argued that “there is now a significant opportunity to strengthen regional health care, a long-standing joint effort of the four governments,” according to a new report from the University of Sydney’s Center for Studies in the United States. Reflects interests. “

Admin Comradt Scott, an associate professor at the University of Sydney and an expert on global health security and international relations, said Australia was in talks with the United States, Japan and India for a “joint regional health initiative”. Should start.

Comrade Scott proposed the development and distribution of vaccines within the region for mutual cooperation. He argued that in the long run, governments should work to improve disease surveillance and response capabilities.

Comrade Scott wrote, “China and Russia are active in ‘vaccine diplomacy’ to increase their influence and presence in countries of strategic importance to Australia, including Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.”

These views are expressed in the health-related sections of the US Center for American Studies’ report to the Guardian Australia before its official launch next week.

Matilda Steward, an honorary colleague at the center, wrote that Australia has already pledged 500 500 million for vaccine distribution in the region, but that polling resources will help increase its engagement in the Australian region.

“Health co-operation with the United States in Southeast Asia and the Pacific will help ensure a stable and prosperous Indian Pacific, a key Australian national interest,” he wrote.

Steward pointed to estimates that about 35 million newborns in Southeast Asia have been deprived of routine immunizations as a result of epidemics, citing concerns about the risks of malaria in the Pacific.

He called on Australia and the United States to work together to provide formal immunizations, or to fight infectious diseases at risk of recurrence.

Steward argued that Canberra’s aid program was still focused primarily on the Pacific, Timor-Leste and Indonesia, despite Morrison’s recent statements that Australia was centered on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Ahead of the first quad leader-level talks, Morrison said he could not see why China would be concerned about the height of the grouping.

The Prime Minister said the grouping brought together four liberal democracies with a long-term interest in the Indian Ocean region and was about “standing up for our values”.

Speaking to reporters in Sydney on Friday, the prime minister said, “For us, this is where we live, here is Japan, here is India, and in fact the longest stretch of the United States in the Pacific. There is a temporary presence, “the prime minister told reporters in Sydney on Friday. .

“It is an anchor for peace and stability in the Pacific and it benefits all the nations of the Indian Pacific.”

The meeting comes just days after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for “real multilateralism” and debated against special groups.

“Building small constituencies in the name of multilateralism is really ‘group politics,'” Wang said Monday.

The White House said this week that Biden’s decision to make Quad one of its initial multilateral engagements “underscores the importance we place in close cooperation with our allies and partners in the Indian Ocean.” ۔

Biden has withdrawn or overthrown several of the Trump administration’s policies on global health, including rejoining the World Health Organization.

Although some have interpreted it as the United States returning to its former global leadership role, a report by the US Center for Studies states that “it will take longer to repair the damage to reputation.”

Comrade Scott said Australians should have the opportunity to work with the United States to restore the country’s position in the global health community, as well as strengthen regional and global health care.

Although Australia’s best interests were demonstrated by the United States’ renewed engagement with the World Health Organization, it also said the Biden administration was likely to focus on addressing the challenges of its domestic Cove 19.

Earlier this week, international aid groups, health organizations and unions called on the Morrison government to support the WTO proposal to allow developing countries to make and sell cheaper copies of patent vaccines. Go

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