‘Quad’ leaders meet at White House as China looks warily on

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WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia presented a united front on Friday at their first summit and stressed the need for a free and open Indo-Pacific region amid shared concerns about China.The two-hour meeting at the White House of the Quad, as the grouping of the four major democracies is called, will be watched closely in Beijing, which criticized the group as "doomed to fail."The summit was expected to yield progress on COVID-19 vaccines, infrastructure and technological cooperation. While China was not mentioned in the public remarks by the four leaders, Beijing was clearly top of mind."We stand here together, in the Indo-Pacific region, a region that we wish to be always free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected and where disputes are settled peacefully and accordance with international law," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the start of the meeting. U.S. President Joe Biden
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