IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

A new dimension

5th September, 2020 Editorial

Context:  The Militarisation of the Quad will not alleviate the territorial threat India faces from China


  • In what will be seen as a significant shift of the government’s posture towards the India, U.S., Australia and Japan Quadrilateral (Quad), Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat stated that India believes the Quad would be a “good mechanism” to “ensure Freedom of Navigation Operations” (FONOPs) in the Indian Ocean and surrounding oceans including the Indo-Pacifi
  • The suggestion is that India is now prepared to join Quad military patrols, which marks a departure from its earlier reticence and public statements by the leadership.
  • The Indian Navy has not taken part in any joint patrols outside of the Indian Ocean, and even within it, held its first one, with France, only
  • In terms of the engagement with the Quad, India has not yet formally announced a decision to include Australia in the annual Malabar exercises with the U.S. and Japan, although it is expected to do so.
  • It is also clear that the LAC tensions and clashes, as well as the PLA’s refusal to implement border agreements, have convinced New Delhi that new strategies will be required to deal with Beijing.
  • While India continues to engage China diplomatically, and External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister have spoken of the importance of a resolution through talks, there is no doubt that an outcome of the tensions will be a strengthening of India’s ties with global powers such as the U.S., as well as formations like the Quad.
  • An indication of this is the government’s plans to host a ministerial level meeting of the Quad in the next month, possibly when the India-US “2+2” meet of Foreign and Defence Ministers is held.
  • India sees the Indo-Pacific as a “geographical concept”, not a “strategy or a club of limited

members”, and it would be important to know whether that formulation has changed.

  • India is the only Quad member not already tied in a treaty alliance with the

others, and government stand that India would never be part of any “alliance system” would run counter to what the CDS suggests.

  • Finally, India is the only country in the Quad that shares a land boundary with China, and it is unclear how the militarisation of the Quad in Indo-Pacific waters would alleviate the territorial threat it faces.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/a-new-dimension-the-hindu-editorial-on-india-us-australia-japan-quadrilateral/article32526589.ece