An Indian Girl’s view on Quad

By: E. Jaya Gayathri

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Essay On:

International Political Happenings in last ten years and its effect

Partnerships and alliances are crucial in today’s international order. A nation’s partnership influences its destiny; this is true, especially if it encompasses more than one spectrum and more global powers. Today, alliances are formed keeping a nation’s interests and principles in mind. Our collaborations are dominated by a shared set of ideals like freedom. The much-talked-about Quad is one such alliance.

Vibrant Economies & Great Democracies

India, Japan, the United States, and Australia. Four vibrant economies and great democracies which believe in rules-based order, with similar geopolitical interests, and a common source of problems named China as economic and trade issues for some and as security challenges for others. Despite their differing perspectives on world events, the group has similar core values, and thankfully, they are focusing on the parallels rather than the contrasts. After much deliberation, the efforts of various leaders’ yielded fruit, and the partnership thus bloomed.

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue

Quad, officially known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is a strategic alliance formed by India, Australia, the United States, and Japan to strengthen peace, prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. By combining American technology, Japanese finance, Indian manufacturing, and Australian logistics, the Quad could be an inspiring bloc.

These four countries originally came together as an ad-hoc grouping to establish the tsunami core group for the relief efforts following the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.  Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formalized this bloc as an arc of freedom and prosperity, and the nations were eager. The initial form of the Quad, which was focused primarily on maritime security, gradually faded away. The Quad returned to prominence after an eight-year hiatus in 2017 in Manila. All four former members agreed to resurrect the quadrilateral alliance to counter China militarily and diplomatically in the “Indo-Pacific” region.

While the Covid 19 pandemic wreaked havoc on global events, it invigorated the quad membership. The inaugural Quad summit grabbed headlines at an unprecedented level, with the meeting conducted in March of last year, and there had been regular meetings between the leadership of the four nations. It is an alliance of democracies, with discussions, information exchanges, and military drills held by all member nations.

The spirit of the Quad

The five points in the Quad joint statement “The spirit of the Quad,” issued in March last year, outline the Quad’s values and interests: international law, security concerns, climate action and a free and open Indo-Pacific. The Quad leaders discuss current global issues such as emerging technology, climate change, education, and cyber security. Logistics collaboration will be a key element in these nations’ associations.

The Quad is not a formal alliance. Nonetheless, as tensions with China mount, the group has strengthened its security and economic connections. Strengthening the Quad nations’ resilience, particularly for vital supply chains for items such as semiconductors, will also be a focus. China remains a major trading partner for all four countries. China regards this union as a threat and has been criticizing it as the Asian NATO.

Although India maintains that the Quad is not for someone – i.e. China – but for something, this strongly suggests the exact opposite. Although it does not openly mention it, the quad has re-energized itself in part as a response to Chinese debt trap diplomacy and rising strategic worries over the Belt and Road Initiative.

Quad is Striving

Quad is striving to strengthen relations with the ASEAN and other regional bodies. They focus on the foundations of any nation, such as health infrastructure and environmental resilience. As a reaction to China’s vaccine diplomacy, the Quad has already vowed to boost India’s vaccine manufacturing capability, to export it globally, which will also aid in garnering the backing of South East Asian countries when vaccines are provided to them. Over the last few weeks, the Quad nations and others in Asia have made it plain that, while things like marine defence are necessary, security must consider Asian countries’ economic goals and requirements.

The Quad framework receives geopolitical validity from India’s membership. As India is the only country in the group to share a direct land border with China, it provides India with a unique opportunity to be an active player in defining regional security architecture with global implications.

India’s standing as a significant power will be reinforced further by its enlarged participation in a new international order based on more broadly approved values.

India may benefit from the Quad as a symbolic gesture as a strategic partnership opposing China. Quad might be an excellent platform for India to pursue permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council. And Quad can be used to modernize marine and maritime equipment and military supplies in India. India may also gain from restructuring the global supply networks away from Chinese control, which will attract investment into the nation.

Military ties between the nations continue to expand, individually and as a group. It is evident from the involvement of Japan and Australia in the yearly Malabar exercise military drills. Improving people-to-people interactions must be a focal point in the bloc to strengthen cultural linkages across dynamic nations.

The formalization of the Quad will assist members in operating with more regular mechanisms and discussions.

One major challenge for the Quad is that India’s foreign policy positions differ from those of the other three countries. India follows a policy of multi-alignment, unlike the other three, who are members of the conventional Western bloc. They do not share perspectives on matters like Russia, Iran, or Pakistan. It’ll be intriguing to see how they handle touchy issues.

Final Words

The Quad’s intent is evident, as evidenced by the three pillars of cooperation – security, climate and technology – outlined by the presidents of the four nations. It is critical to quicken implementation in areas of cooperation and beyond, including trade, investment, and global supply chains. These elements must play a substantial part in the Quad’s agenda discussions and implementation.

As an Indian girl, I support Quad and hope to see this bloc become a geopolitical powerhouse.

By: E. Jaya Gayathri

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