Biden said at the White House meeting with the Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, that it was “completely separate” from AUKUS, or the Australia-United Kingdom-United States pact. According to official statements, discussions at the Quad summit at the White House were also said to be mainly about vaccine exports to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, efforts to bolster supply chains for semiconductors, and boost “maritime domain awareness”, whatever that would mean.
But any independent strategic observer would be remiss in claiming that AUKUS and the Quad are not intertwined. Although neither the former nor the latter pact specifically and officially identifies China as the adversary, it is obvious Beijing is the target. A joint statement issued after the meeting was also a bit more explicit on security matters. Quad members, it said, stand for “the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, climate change, and territorial integrity of states.”