The last meeting of officials of the four countries took place in May 2007 in the Filipino capital on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum.
Department of State officials met with senior officials from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, India's Ministry of External Affairs, and Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 12, 2017 in Manila to discuss their shared vision for increased prosperity and security in a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Shinzo Abe and other world leaders at an ASEAN Summit dinner in Manila on Sunday. "The officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as well as on enhancing connectivity", the statement added. "This includes upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and respect for global law, freedom of navigation and overflight, increase connectivity", it said.
"The relevant proposals should be open and inclusive and conducive to win-win cooperation, and should avoid politicising or excluding relevant parties", foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing.
The four countries are working to revive their quadrilateral dialogue.
The formation of a quadrilateral security dialogue comprising India, the US, Australia and Japan was first mooted around 10 years back but it did not see light of the day.
Joint Secretary (South division) in the MEA Vinay Kumar and Joint Secretary in (East Asia) Pranay Verma attended the meeting.
The Indian statement struck a cautious note, with the MEA noting that the discussions focused on cooperation based on "converging vision and values for the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners". "We will not be able to compete with the kind of terms that China offers, but countries have to decide: What are they willing to pay to secure their sovereignty and their future control of their economies And we've had those discussions with them, as well", he said. These are mainly euphemisms for China's aggressive policy in the South China sea, where it has been building islands and also refused to take part or accept global tribunal judgement in dispute with Philippines.
Officials of India, Australia, the U.S. and Japan held the first quadrilateral (Quad) meeting on Sunday to boost cooperation and combat China's unilateral assertiveness in the region.
China expressed resentment at the setting up of a new Great Game to undermine its global influence from Indian Ocean to Pacific to the shores of African nations.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will be meeting with all three of his counterparts from US, Japan and Australia at the East Asia summit. Before a gala dinner tonight to mark ASEAN's 50th anniversary, he had one-on-one meetings with US President Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.