India, the United States, Japan and Australia met for the fourth time as part of the latest quadrilateral meeting in Bangkok. India has said the quadrilateral meeting is a consultative process, not a military alliance.
The issues for discussion at last meeting were on expected lines centred on the Indo-Pacific. It means free passage for ships and a free and open Indo-Pacific.
But the elephant in the room is the issue about China. The meeting comes in the wake is deteriorating relations between the US and China, particularly on trade.
This is the fourth quad meeting between the four allies; the first was held in the Philippines and the next two in Singapore. The latest meeting is between officials.
The meet will be followed by a naval exercise off the coast of Japan in September. In this exercise Malabar, the US will be participating apart from India and Japan. Australia has also been part of Malabar, but only once.
The Quad meetings, India has always said, is about a peaceful, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.