IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


12th May, 2022 International Relations

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  • Amid the presence of Chinese aircraft south of Tokyo, all eyes are on the May 24 QUAD Summit to counter the growing naval challenge in the Indo-Pacific.
  • While US Navy has upgraded all its warships at Yokosuka base in Japan, in terms of lethality and long reach, aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will get operational next month and India will be a two carrier and two ballistic missile submarine Navy by 2022-end.


About QUAD

  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue colloquially known as the QUAD is an informal strategic forum comprising, the 4 nations: The United States of America (USA), India, Japan, and Australia.
  • This group first interacted in 2007 on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • It is considered as specific nations coming along to find a common ground in being democratic nations and their interest in maritime cooperation through trade and security.


QUAD Formation

  • The occurrence of a Tsunami in the Indian Ocean led to the formation of India, Japan, Australia, and the US to build an informal alliance for collaborating on disaster relief efforts.
  • In 2007, The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, formalized it into the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or the Quad.
  • After facing a threat from China in 2017, the Quad expanded its objectives by creating a mechanism that determined to establish a rules-based international order.
  • But in 2008, Australia left the group, whereas in 2020, the trio India-US-Japan did their first joint Malabar naval exercise by including Australia again.


QUAD Significance

  • QUAD plays a significant role for India in countering Chinese influence, combating post covid diplomacy, providing security in the Indian ocean, and achieving a rule-based multipolar world.
  • The objective behind the QUAD group is the initiative for strategic and significant sea routes in the Indo-Pacific region to be free from any influence.


QUAD Complications

  • The problem for India, however, is that even with its renewed wariness about China, and the rebooting of the Quad, it has to weigh several long-standing and conflicting security, diplomatic, and economic calculations.
  • India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific rests more on the Indian Ocean and less on the Pacific Ocean, where Chinese assertiveness arouses the most concern from the United States, Australia, and Japan.
  • India is uncomfortable with any conception of the Quad as an anti-China “alliance of democracies” (as U.S. President Joe Biden has put it).
    • Any formal grouping of democracies through the Quad could raise expectations that it will be a vigorous proponent of promoting democracy abroad.


Relevance of AUKUS

  • Recently, the US has announced a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS). The major highlight of this arrangement is sharing US nuclear submarine technology with Australia.
  • The announcement of AUKUS has underlined some of India’s contradictions.
    • The Quad is not an Asian North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and does not commit to collective security.
      • For India, this means that the Quad can maintain its broad agenda—its recent summit highlighted cooperation on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, climate change, technology, and science expertise.
    • The Quad is very important to India. It can provide a long-term strategy to deter China in the region, especially given that Chinese strategy, thus far, has been less about security encirclement and more about economic enmeshment.
    • India is also very important to the Quad. A Quad without India would have less heft, less credibility in Asia, and would immediately lose the “Indo” in “Indo-Pacific.”