The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) summit, the first of its kind was held on March 12, 2021. This summit demonstrated the four-nation dialogue which involved India, Australia, Japan, and the U.S.
QUAD quickly climbed from official level dialogue in 2017 to ministerial engagement in 2019 and ultimately became an Apex summit last month.
It can be rightfully said that QUAD was born of necessity in 2004. However, it was subject to distortion and vagueness on various challenges.
The Quad Initiative can be traced back to 2007 at the behest of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the quest for a bold vision and a ‘broader Asia’ after four countries – the US, India, Japan, and Australia came together. However, it could not take shape into a concrete structure due to Australia moving out of it, apparently due to Chinese pressure.
The QUAD (or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) structure is set to crystallize the idea of a security structure.
INS Sarvekshak, a hydrographic survey ship, is on a deployment to Mauritius for undertaking joint hydrographic surveys along with their Mauritian counterparts. https://t.co/BinYBgai63 pic.twitter.com/MNNDf5xUBw
— A. Bharat Bhushan Babu (@SpokespersonMoD) April 7, 2021
In addition to discussing regional and global issues of shared interest, the QUAD also focuses on exchanging views on post Covid recovery, ensure a free, open Indo-Pacific relation, maritime securities, climate change, and resilient supply & production chains.
The much appreciated Indian government initiative- ‘Vaccine Maitri’ and QUAD vaccine partnership has targeted one billion vaccines by the end of 2022.
Is QUAD a threat to China?
The QUAD summit can be superscripted as an anti-China group as it was formed in response to China’s economic and military predominance.
China has a strong belief that the trilateral dialogue (involving Australia, U.S., and Japan in Philippines Sea), quadrilateral dialogue structure, its arrangements, and naval exercises involving India, Australia, Japan, and the U.S. are aimed at strengthening the QUAD.
In China’s view, QUAD represents a ‘Cold War mentality’ and is formed to back up the hyped ‘China Threat’.
However, China has strong economic ties with the Quad members, Australia can be used to turn nations in its favor. Recently, in response to Australia’s call for inquiry over Covid-19 origin, China banned Australian beef import.
If events turn tables, then it will create a great problem for India.
Is QUAD a true ally of India?
The road strategy of China which will pass through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) region is a threat to India. This will ultimately provide China’s dominance and leadership over the old Silk route.
India in its response, geared up engagement in coastal region through SAGAR strategy and QUAD. This has ensured territorial integrity and sovereignty.
It also ensures a peaceful resolution of disputes which is extremely crucial given the present worsening relation between India and China.
However, many cynics slanders that due to QUAD, India will get dragged into a bog which is completely inverse to the country’s interest. While many questions India’s inability to meet China’s military and economic supremacy.
It can be justified that QUAD is far from being an ‘Alliance’ and Indian government must think before taking any leap of faith regarding affairs related to QUAD.
One must keep in mind that QUAD only enables arrangements for deeper military cooperation between the four nations.
China- A Maritime Challenge:
In recent date, China’s surface combatants outnumber those of the US navy. The Chinese navy’s growth in numbers comes largely from smaller vessels such as cruisers, frigates, fast attack craft, and destroyers. It also has with one operational carrier (Liaoning) which is half the size of any one of the United States’ eleven carriers.
But, when it comes to sophistication, the Japanese Navy still remains ahead of the Chinese navy.
It is not wrong to say that QUAD’s future will depend on the choices China makes. The greater China’s aggressiveness, the faster will be QUAD’s response in its military and security agendas. But, Australia still poses a threat as China can turn Australia into its side.