What is Quad? What does it mean for India?
New Delhi, May 23: The second in-person Quad Leaders' Summit will take place on Tuesday, May 24. It is considered to be one of the region's most important foreign policy summits of the year.
The summit will provide an opportunity to leaders of the four countries to review the progress of the grouping's initiatives and exchange views on developments in the Indo-Pacific region as well as on global issues of mutual interest.
What is Quad?
Known as the 'Quadrilateral Security Dialogue' (QSD), the Quad is a key pillar of Indo-Pacific agenda. The Quad is a diplomatic network comprising four nations, namely United States of America (USA), India, Australia and Japan committed to supporting an open, inclusive and resilient region. It complements our other bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation, including with ASEAN.
The Quad has a positive, practical agenda to respond to the region's most pressing challenges, including COVID-19 vaccines, critical and emerging technology, cyber security, climate change, infrastructure, maritime security, countering disinformation, counter-terrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Quad partners are steadfast supporters of ASEAN centrality, the ASEAN-led architecture and ASEAN's Outlook on Indo-Pacific.
Formation of the Quad
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came up with the idea for the formation of Quad in 2007. Since its establishment in 2007, the representatives for the four-member nations have met periodically.
In fact, the Quad's origins date back to our collaboration in response to the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
China and the Quad
The Quad grouping of the US, Japan, India and Australia focussed on free and open Indo-Pacific while Beijing likens it to 'Asian NATO' aimed to contain its rise.
The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
China has launched a broadside against the Indo-Pacific strategy of the United States ahead of the summit of Quad leaders in Japan, saying that it is "bound to fail" as it is vigorously promoted by Washington to "contain" Beijing.
Significance of Quad for India
Quad strategically counters China's economic and military rise. India can take the support of the other Quad nations to counter the communist nation. In addition, India can even take the help of its naval front and conduct strategic explorations in the Indo-Pacific region.