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Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), a strategic forum comprising India, Japan, Australia and the United States of America, will hold its first-ever head of states meet virtually on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India will be meeting virtually with President Joe Biden of the United States, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia.

The virtual summit - seen as part of efforts to balance China's growing military and economic power - will focus on a coronavirus vaccine initiative to effectively deal with the pandemic, news agency PTI quoted people familiar with the matter as saying.

The Quad, mooted by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007, has met regularly at the working and foreign ministers level and a meeting at the head of the state level will be held for the first time on Friday to ensure and sustain an open, free and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

The summit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change.

To checkmate China, the Biden administration focussed on the Quad meeting, signalling the importance of partnerships and alliances in the Indo-Pacific region.

Biden has spoken to each leader individually, but putting them together gives an early boost to the burgeoning group, which China has suggested could grow into an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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