United States looking at working-level quadrilateral with India, Japan, Australia

A map illustrating China's silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road is displayed at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong China

Citing growing worldwide partnerships, India on Friday said it was "open" to working with partner countries for regional issues that are "relevant".

New Delhi reacted cautiously to the proposal recently mooted by both American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, for launching an India-US-Japan-Australia quadrilateral strategic dialogue. "We are not rigid in this regard", Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, told journalists on Friday.

In the first articulation of its strategy to counter China's growing influence in the region and across the world, a senior Trump administration official on Friday provided a broad framework of Washington working with Tokyo, New Delhi, and Canberra to arrive at what could in the near-term be a quadrilateral architecture that could later grow beyond that.

Kumar also talked about the India-US-Japan trilateral which has been happening for many years and the recent India-Japan-Australia trilateral.

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Asked about the quadrilateral proposal, ministry of external affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar said: "As far as we are concerned, we have an open mind to cooperate with countries with convergence but obviously on an agenda which is relevant to us". It said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would officially propose the dialogue partnership to U.S. President Donald Trump on November 6, when the U.S. leader visits Japan as part of an Asian tour that will also take him to China. "All these meetings are conducted at various levels".

Wells rejected the idea the forum would be aimed at containing China, which has alarmed Asia-Pacific countries through its pursuit of territory in the South China Sea and has launched major initiatives to develop regional infrastructure.

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had indicated Delhi's willingness to engage with the quadrilateral idea. This indicated India's positive attitude towards the "quadrilateral idea", which was mooted by United States officials earlier.

Japan is mulling to take India, Australia and the United States onboard for its plans on building a project like China's "One Belt One Road" initiative.

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