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The virtual Quad gathering in March, with (clockwise from top-left) Biden, Suga, Modi and Morrison. Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

President Biden will host the leaders of Australia, India and Japan at the White House on Sept. 24 — the first time the leaders of the "Quad" countries will gather for an in-person summit.

Why it matters: Elevating the Quad is a key aspect of Biden's strategy for competing with China. All four countries have butted heads with Beijing in recent years, making them increasingly willing to cooperate in a forum that Beijing rejects as an anti-China bloc.

  • The leaders met virtually in March and announced a plan to increase vaccine supplies to countries in Southeast Asia — a plan that was later complicated when India stopped most vaccine exports.
  • The White House referred to the gathering as the "first-ever Quad Leaders Summit," a description which seems to suggest there could be additional summits to come.
  • It will be the first visit to Biden's White House for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited in April.

What to watch: The Quad countries aren't always aligned in terms of how closely they should coordinate, or how willing they should be to risk angering Beijing. Still, some in Washington see the Quad as the foundation of what could eventually become a NATO for the 21st century.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2021 - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% have received at least one dose.

Net-zero emissions fight breaks out before COP26

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Here's a sign of how tough it'll be to win new emissions-cutting moves at COP26: Big developing nations are refusing to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Driving the news: That's spelled out in a new statement from countries including China, the biggest greenhouse gas emitter by far, as well as India and Indonesia.

Oct 20, 2021 - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.