One month, the new U.S. government led by Biden is coming to power. In the last “second reading” stage of power, the Trump administration did not forget to “reward allies and partners for merit”.
On December 21 local time, the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) posted on its official Twitter that it would award the “Legion of Merit” to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indian Prime Minister Modi and Australian Prime Minister Morrison. The ambassadors of Japan, India and Australia to the United States took the medal from Robert O’Brien, the White House National Security Adviser, as representatives.
It is worth mentioning that the four countries, the United States, Japan, India and Australia happen to be members of the Quadripartite Security Dialogue (Quad) mechanism. The media such as Japan and India have reported on this “honoration ceremony”.
On the NSC official push, a picture and text with a physical picture of the medal and a group photo of the medal award were first issued. In the picture, Shinsuke Sugiyama, Japan’s ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Indian ambassador to the United States, and Arthur Sinodinos, the Australian ambassador to the United States, represent Shinzo Abe, respectively. Modi and Morrison received the Medal of Merit and took a photo with O’Brien, the White House national security adviser.
Subsequently, NSC officials tweeted three more consecutive tweets to further explain the award.
The tweet said that the Order of Shinzo Abe was awarded to his “leadership and vision in freedom and openness in India and the Pacific”, the Order of Modi was awarded to his “leading role in enhancing the strategic partnership between the United States and India”, and the Order Morrison was awarded to his “response to global challenges and promote collective security”. All-round leadership”.
The “Medal of Merit” has a long history. The medal is divided into four levels: Grand Commander, Commander, Officer and Legion Member. It is mainly awarded to military and political figures of the United States military and foreign governments. Shinzo Abe, Modi and Morrison were awarded the highest-level “Grand Commander” medal.
Picture from Wikipedia
In response, media, including Japan’s Kyodo News Agency and Hindustan Times, have paid attention to the award of “Medal of Merit” by politicians in their respective countries.
In its report, the Hindustan Times pointed out that the “Medal of Merit” awarded by Prime Minister Modi this time is the highest level, and it is generally only awarded to foreign heads of state or government.
Screenshot of the report of Hindustan Times
While reporting that Abe was awarded the medal, Japan Kyodo News Agency specifically stressed that he had established close personal relations with Trump since he took office in 2017.
The agency also reported that the other prime ministers of the two countries were awarded the medal together with Abe, and referred to the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” mechanism built by the United States, Japan, India and Australia.
According to the report, the common goal of the Quadripartite Security Dialogue is to achieve the so-called “free and open Indo-Pacific region”, and the Trump administration has always claimed that this mechanism helps to curb China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Screenshots of Japan Kyodo News Agency
It is worth noting that as the Trump administration enters the countdown phase, many domestic political scholars in the United States have recently “advented” for Biden’s new administration.
On December 7th local time, the Center for Research on Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan foreign policy think tank, released a copy by Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State of the United States, and Joseph Nye, former dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The report led by oseph Nye.
These two leaders of the “Japanese school” in the United States positioned the United States and Japan as “equal partners with common values” and claimed that both sides needed to adjust their strategies to meet the challenges posed by the rise of China. Japan should even be included in the “Five Eyes Alliance” and move towards the goal of forming the “Six Eyes Alliance”.
In addition to the so-called “Six Eyes Alliance”, the report also refers to the Quadripartite Security Dialogue, claiming that the mechanism must be expanded and more inclusive, otherwise the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” will appear overshadowed by other regional institutions or coalitions.
In response to the intention of the United States and other countries to build a “small Asian NATO” towards China, Luo Zhaohui, Vice Foreign Minister of China, made it clear on September 2 this year that the United States has attracted Japan, India and Australia to form small anti-China circles, indicating that the United States is still pursuing the “Cold War” mentality.