President Joe Biden has experienced a malfunction of his translation device during the Quad summit with three other world leaders at the White House on Friday.

According to a Fox News report, after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga finished speaking, the president subtly motioned across the room and said he "can't get this to function at all."

Biden touched the small cord connecting his earpiece to the translator console in trying to fix it as an aide walked behind him.

The aide then fumbled with the translator console and checked the knob and earpiece before walking out of the frame as video of the Quad summit ended.

Apart from Biden and Suga, other leaders who attended the summit were Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad has existed in practice since 2004 when four nations namely U.S., India, Japan and Australia closely and successfully coordinated relief efforts for a catastrophic tsunami in Japan. However, the Quad went on hiatus for several years.

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Quad Leaders' Meeting

At Friday's meeting, Quad leaders have agreed to collaborate regarding COVID vaccines and clean energy, and expand areas of cooperation to space and infrastructure, without mentioning the words "China" or "Beijing."

Suga told reporters that the leaders of the Quad have also agreed to conduct the Quad summit meeting annually, Aljazeera reported.

The two-hour meeting had discussed the partnership amid global challenges and growing competition with China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Joe Biden announced a fellowship program to allow students from the three countries to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at universities in the U.S.

In his opening remarks, Biden said the four countries were coming together to take on important challenges "of our age, from COVID to climate to emerging technologies." He added they know how to get things done, and they are up to the challenge.

Morrison has backed Biden's statements and praised the four countries' efforts to produce one billion COVID vaccines earlier this year.

China on Quad Summit

Meanwhile, China has scrutinized the group, saying that it was "exclusive" and "doomed to fail."

The Biden administration earlier announced a security pact with the United Kingdom and Australia, which China called an "extremely irresponsible" threat to regional stability.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the Quad is not a security meeting or "security apparatus."

Kunihiko Miyake, a special adviser to Japan's cabinet and former diplomat, said what they are pursuing in Quad is not a monolithic, unified, NATO-type collective security alliance, NPR reported.

Miyake noted that it is a multilayered system, composed of different groups and entities.

Modi noted that he is confident that their cooperation, under Quad, will ensure prosperity and peace in the Indo-Pacific and the rest of the world.

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, director of Centre for Security, Strategy and Technology at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, said China's behavior has pushed many more countries to collaborate together.

Yoshihide Soeya, a professor emeritus at Keio University in Tokyo, noted that the main vision of the U.S. and Japan is to contain or counterbalance China. However, he said emphasizing the China threat could only make others be more dependent on the U.S.

"If this is the only thing which Japan is interested in, then I think our so-called 'strategic autonomy' will be lost," he added.

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Written by: Mary Webber

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