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US not looking to form new Quad in East Asia with PH, other countries

WASHINGTON—The US is not looking to put up a new Quad in East Asia made up of itself, the Philippines, and a few other countries, a US State Department official has said.

According to US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel J. Kritenbrink, the US has been only showing its commitment to the Indo-Pacific and its allies.

Asked in a briefing if the US looked to establish a new Quad in East Asia based on treaty allies, including the US, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea, Kritenbrink said, "I would say no."

"We’re not looking to establish a new Quad. I think what we are trying to do is, again, in every way possible demonstrate the strength and the credibility of America’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and to our allies, partners, and friends – including, of course, our treaty ally the Philippines," Kritenbrink said.

In a joint statement following their bilateral meeting at the White House, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and US President Joe Biden adverted to "trilateral modes of cooperation among the Philippines, Japan, and the United States, as well as the Philippines, Australia, and the United States."

The Quad refers to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, made up of the US, Australia, India, and Japan.

It is a diplomatic network of four countries committed to supporting an open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient.

"I think it’s important to note here, too, that an important element of our engagement as well, though, is that I think it’s important to identify synergies between like-minded partners and explore ways in which informal cooperation might be conducted on a trilateral or other bases," Kritenbrink said.

"I think as both President Marcos and President Biden noted yesterday, I think there may be opportunities in the future for such close allies as the United States, Philippines, and Japan to look at ways that maybe we could expand our cooperation," he added.

Kritenbrink said, "Similarly, the United States, the Philippines, and Australia may be able to do the same as well." —NB, GMA Integrated News