The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (also known as the Quad) is a strategic symposium between India, Japan, Australia, and the United States of America. It was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to establish this Asian Arc of Democracy. However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it, ostensibly due to Chinese pressure. It encapsulates high-level diplomatic talks along with intense military exercises between the member nations called the Malabar Exercise. The world contemplated the formation as retaliation to Chinese economic and military antagonism in the Indo-Pacific region.
Why was the Quad established?
Two of the most popular hypothesis put forward explaining the establishment of the Quad are quite intriguing and thought-provoking.
The first hypothesis explains Quad as a form of military alliance formed to counter the Dragon. This theory explains the rising military and economic hegemony of China in South East Asia while emphasizing security in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific regions. This theory intimidated China to the extent that she had to take stern diplomatic action. Her coercive attempts persuaded Australia to opt-out of Quad in its early years of the establishment. The Dragon has been quite vocal about the Quad at the UN and is consistently trying geopolitical stunts in the Indo-Pacific to railroad the Quad.
The second hypothesis is more of a mockery. It has its roots in Chinese institutions and advocates that the Quad has nothing to do with China. It has negligible importance in the region and is trying to daunt China with the so-called “News Headline Games.” In 2018, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi sharply reacted to the meeting of the leaders of the Quad as a “headline-grabbing” stunt and that it is doomed to fail and will dissipate like sea foam. Wang also said “it was time the China threat theory was laid to rest asserting that Beijing’s contribution to the global economic growth was larger than the US, Japan, and the European Union combined. Those who do not have bias and practice double standards will see China’s development as an opportunity instead of a threat”.
Why must India resuscitate and expand the Quad to counter China?
In the month of May, the Indian armed forces and the Chinese armed forces engaged in a serious military confrontation after almost 45years. This confrontation resulted in 20 casualties on the Indian side and 43 casualties on the Chinese side, pushing the bilateral relations between the two nuclear states at an all-time low and sparking massive tensions across the Line of Actual Control(LAC). This confrontation escalated to a point where both the militaries have been getting ready to engage in a war.
India will have to fight its battles courageously and display its prowess to counter forces undermining national security and sovereignty. A revival of the Quad and the introduction of like-minded states into a partnership to counter Chinese hegemony, hostility and establish a rule-based free Indo-Pacific.
India is the only country in the Quad that shares a border with Communist China. Along with ramping up military efforts, India needs to use strategies that nullify Chinese aggression and make it amply clear to any foreign power that the violation of the UN laws of Seas won’t be sidelined or ignored. India (including ASEAN, the US, Australia, Japan) must frame an absolute guideline to maintain stability, cooperation, peace, and tranquility in the Indo-Pacific region and at the same time counter any foreign aggression that violates the set guidelines.
The Bold Chinese Border Claims
It would be utterly preposterous and embarrassing if we forget the obnoxious policy of the Communist regime “Grab and keep grabbing land” policy. China shares land borders with fourteen countries and maritime borders with four countries. The agape fact is, it has disputes with every neighbor. China, in the month of August, claimed right over 45% of the Pamir region of Tajikistan. As the Chinese historian, Cho Yau Lu said, “Pamir was outside China for 128 years due to the pressure of world powers” so according to this hypothesis, Pamir is Chinese and is a part of Communist China.
|Japan||Senkaku Islands and the Ryukyu Islands|
|Vietnam||China claims large parts of Vietnam (on historical basis) particularly, Macclesfield Bank, Paracel Islands, parts of South China Sea, and the Spartly Islands|
|India||China occupies 38,000 sq km of Indian territory that goes by the name of Aksai Chin. It also stakes a claim on Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh|
|North Korea||Baekdu Mountain and Jiandao|
|Taiwan||China claims all of Taiwan|
|Mongolia||China claims all of Mongolia on historical grounds|
|Indonesia||Natuna Islands and other parts of South China Sea|
|South Korea||The Socotra Rock (Ieodo or Suyan Rock) in the East China Sea|
|Singapore||Singapore and China have disputes over some parts of the South China Sea|
|Brunei||Brunei and China’s dispute is over southern parts of the South China Sea and some of the Spratly Islands.|
|Malaysia||The Spratly Islands|
|The Philippines||The Scarborough Reef and the Spratly Islands|
China’s expansionism policy is a serious threat to smaller nations with paltry military or economic power in comparison to China. The Quad needs to make China accountable and pay for its historic blunders ranging from human rights, aggressive military confrontations, threat to global security, and importantly, its growing hostility towards its neighbors.