• Recently, the US announced that the first in-person meeting of the Quad countries is going to be held in New York, US. The heads of all the four countries (India, Japan, Australia, and the US) are going to attend the meeting.
  • Reacting to the upcoming summit, China criticized the Quad and said the formation of “exclusive cliques (circles)” targeting other countries runs counter to the trend of the times and is “doomed to fail”.



Important points:

  • Following the Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004), India, Japan, Australia, and the US 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 or the Quad.
  • The Quad was supposed to establish an Asian Arc of Democracy but was hampered by a lack of cohesion amongst its members and accusations that the group was nothing more than an anti-China bloc.
  • In 2017, faced again with the rising threat of China, the four countries revived the Quad, broadening its objectives and creating a mechanism that aimed to slowly establish a rules-based international order.
  • In 2020, the trilateral India-US-Japan Malabar naval exercises expanded to include Australia, marking the first official grouping of the Quad since its resurgence in 2017.
  • Further, it was the first joint military exercises among the four countries in over a decade.
  • In March 2021, the Quad leaders met virtually and later released a joint statement titled ‘The Spirit of the Quad,’ which outlined the group’s approach and objectives.

Objectives :

  • According to the ‘Spirit of the Quad’, the group’s primary objectives include maritime security, combating the Covid-19 crisis, especially vis-à-vis vaccine diplomacy, addressing the risks of climate change, creating an ecosystem for investment in the region and boosting technological innovation.
  • However, despite the Quad’s seeming commitment to a broad range of issues, its main focus area is still considered to be countering China.
  • Quad members have also indicated a willingness to expand the partnership through a so-called Quad Plus that would include South Korea, New Zealand, and Vietnam amongst others.

Way Forward

  • The Quad nations need to better explain the Indo-Pacific Vision in an overarching framework with the objective of advancing everyone’s economic and security interests.
  • This will reassure the littoral States that the Quad will be a factor for regional benefit, and a far cry from Chinese allegations that it is some sort of a military alliance.
  • The forthcoming Ministerial meetings can be an opportunity to define the idea and chart a future path.


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