Biden says free Indo-Pacific essential as he meets with India, Japan Australia

U.S. President Biden delivers an address to the nation about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden began a summit meeting with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan on Friday, a group central to his efforts to counter China's growing military and economic power, saying that a free and open Indo-Pacific region is essential to all of their futures.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)