The President of the United States (US), Donald Trump has awarded the Legion of Merit to current and former leaders in India, Japan and Australia, decorating the heads of the US-led Quad alliance created to counter Beijing in the Asia-Pacific.
In a series of tweets, the head of the National Security Council, Robert O’Brien has announced that the prestigious military honor was handed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
According to Robert O’Brien, the Indian PM Narendra Modi has been awarded for leadership in elevating the US-India strategic partnership.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe has been awarded for his vision for a free and open-Indo-Pacific. While Australian PM Morrison was awarded for promoting collective security.
Head of the National Security Council has said that the awards were each accepted by envoys from the three nations and would soon be relayed to the statesmen.
According to Russia Today, the four countries make up the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the “Asian NATO” or simply the “Quad.” Though the informal alliance was largely dormant throughout the 2010s amid disputes between Canberra and New Delhi, the Trump administration has overseen a resurgence of the bloc, encouraging renewed cooperation and military drills in the Asia-Pacific with eyes on China. The alliance met last month for three days of naval exercises off the coast of India, showing off an arsenal of destroyers, frigates and other warships.