Q. What is the significance of the QUAD summit?
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Replied by Amruta Karambelkar

The Quad is a group of four like- minded democracies and comprises of India, US, Japan and Australia. These counties have common interests in security of the Indo-Pacific. The four countries see free and open Indo-Pacific essential. They are concerned about impediments to free flow of trade and navigation.

When the QUAD grouping started some activity in the past two years ago, doubts were raised whether the group- whether the members were committed, their bilateral relations with China, specifically the trade dependency etc. There were doubts over the new US administration’s view of China and the Indo-Pacific.

China had dismissed the grouping as a sea foam that would dissipate.

But due to Covid 19 & China’s role in it, China’s territorial aggression with India and Japan, trade tensions with Australia during the pandemic motivated the four countries to raise the level of the QUAD.

Until now no QUAD meeting saw a joint statement. But after the summit there was a joint statement which indicated the level of consolidation of the four countries on their strategic outlook. The four countries have also laid out a broad area where they would work. The focus is largely on transnational issues like maritime security, freedom of navigation, cyber security, transparent infrastructure projects and upholding rule of law.

Despite its criticism and scepticism, the QUAD is here to stay and would be a strong block to safeguard order and peace in the Indo-Pacific.

Date : 30/03/2021
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