The QUAD is a Quadrilateral security dialogue forum which included four countries including Australia, India, Japan and United State of America. The idea of QUAD was initiated in the year 2007 by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with the main objective of building the peace and prosperity in the Indo-pacific region. The prominent focus area of QUAD is Indo-Pacific region. Officially, the prime goals of QUAD are to promote cooperation and security from the western Pacific Ocean to the African Coast of Indian Ocean. But China accused it as ‘Indo-Pacific NATO’ which is mainly built in response to its economic and military rise as well as its increasing assertiveness in the region through it ‘OBOR’ initiative. Well, this is true or not only would the coming time unveil.
Emergence of QUAD
We can discuss about its emergence in the three phases which are as follows:
First Phase: Initially, the idea was given by former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe during his visit to India in 2007 but the idea remained forgotten till 2017. After then, between the years 2017 to 2019 officials from all the four member countries used to hold informal meeting for the various issues related to this region.
Second Phase: This phase began in September, 2019 when Foreign Ministers interacted and later in 2019 all four countries signed mutual logistic support agreement to enhance the co-operation and operationally of their respective forces.
Third Phase: It began in 2020 during the environment of Covid-19. It is the most difficult phase in the journey of its evolution as it involved bolder steps and commitment on the part of each members.
Possible reasons behind the emergence of QUAD
Although, there are various reasons from multiple perspectives but in this article, the author has focused mainly on some prominent reasons only which are mentioned below:
The clashes between China & USA under Trump administration especially in the Indo-Pacific region.
The tensions between China & Japan in the East China Sea especially over the sovereignty of Senkaku Islands.
During Covid-19 pandemic, the growing tensions between China & Australia especially in the form of Australian demand for the investigation of Covid origin in Wuhan, China and in retaliation banned by Chinese on the imports of Australian goods.
The border disputes between China &India in June, 2020 which are fully unresolved in the present time also.
Main Principles & Objectives of QUAD
It seeks to foster the strategic co-operation between the four members to extend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
It is inclusive in its approach where other countries having same principles and objective can join it.
To evolve a rule based order in Indo-Pacific region mainly for resolving the maritime disputes among nations.
First QUAD Summit on 12 March, 2021
US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga participated in the first virtual QUAD summit on March 12, 2021 where they indicated about the big agenda ahead. In a joint statement title “the spirit of QUAD” it was highlighted that “We will join forces to expand safe, affordable and effective vaccine production and equitable access to speed economic recovery and benefit global health.”
To conclude, it can be said that the QUAD has been started with a big dream of making ‘Open, Free Indo-Pacific.” Let’s see whether they will be able in setting the benchmarks as we already have multiple organizations & collaborations some of which are successful and others are still struggling. But with QUAD, things are appearing differently as it is more likely to be a golden forum in the future to establish the peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Dr. Meenakshi Bansal is pursuing her PGDWGS from IGNOU, New Delhi and engaged as the Chair for Student Research Committee (SRC) on Asia and Oceania, IAPSS. She has written extensively on various subjects which have not only presented in various National and International seminar/ conferences in India and abroad but have also been published as research papers and chapters in the journals of National and International repute.