Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is the informal strategic dialogue between India, the USA, Japan, and Australia with a shared objective to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.

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 organization 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 the 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 with Canberra
  • India is also wary of Beijing’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and LAC standoffs that affect India’s territorial integrity

What opportunities are lying ahead?

  • Quad members have indicated a 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 a backseat

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