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Formation of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)

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September 15, 2021

Why in news?

The White House announced that US President will be hosting the first in-person meeting of the Quad countries. 

What is the background of formation of Quad?

Quad refers to the grouping of 4 countries of India, Japan, Australia, and the US

  • Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the four countries  created an informal alliance to collaborate on disaster relief efforts
  • In 2007, then PM of Japan, Shinzo Abe, formalised the alliance as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue
  • In 2017, with the rising threat of China, the four countries revived the Quad  broadening the objectives to establish a rules-based international order

What are the Objectives of Quad?

  • Maritime security recommitting to a shared vision for a free, open, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific region
  • Combating the Covid-19 crisis, especially vaccine diplomacy
  • Addressing the risks of climate change
  • Creating an ecosystem for investment in the region
  • Boosting technological innovation

What are the challenges?

  • Quad is not structured like a typical multilateral organisation and lacks a secretariat and any permanent decision-making body
  • Although exercises such as Malabar naval exercise are conducted, Quad does not include provisions for collective defence
  • China opposed the formation of Quad and has branded it an emerging “Asian NATO”

Why is Quad significant with respect to China?

  • China’s actions in the South China Sea and its attempts to extend its sphere of influence through initiatives such as One Belt One Road Project (OBOR)  are viewed as a threat by Quad members
  • U.S. charges China for aiming to subvert the international rules-based order
  • Japan and Australia are concerned about China’s expanding presence in the South and East China Sea
  • Australia passed foreign interference laws in 2018 which China responded to by restricting trade to Canberra
  • India is also wary of Beijing’s China Pakistan Economic Corridor and LAC standoffs that affects India’s territorial integrity

What opportunities are lying ahead?

  • Quad members have indicated willingness to expand the partnership through a so-called Quad Plus that would include South Korea, New Zealand, and Vietnam amongst others.
  • Although the Quad is perceived to be anti-China, there is no direct reference to China or military security
  • QUAD provides a geostrategic vision for India to balance China via global networking but its neighbourhood first policy should also not take backseat


Source: The Indian Expres

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