Will Kamal be able to show QUAD to stop the path of ‘Dragon’?

A significant progress is visible since the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) was launched and its leaders are having their first physical meeting with the 76th United Nations General Assembly in the United States. The group’s meeting is taking place in the backdrop of the Afghanistan conflict and AUKUS (a tripartite security alliance formed by the United States, United Kingdom and Australia). Although the QUAD countries have been conducting military exercises and cooperating on a variety of issues including trade, civil nuclear use, health and COVID diplomacy, it needs to clearly specify its structure and goals as well as execution plans. needs, which are still not clear. Due to China’s growing dominance in the South China Sea (SCS) and Asia Pacific, there is a need for a strong politico-military alliance involving the major powers of the region and the four countries of the Quad that represent the same. They are ready to limit Chinese expansionist movements in Asia Pacific for the peaceful coexistence of other countries. Considering the Quad a direct threat, China has been quite vocal about it and has also lodged protests at various forums. Since the first physical meeting of its leaders is going to be held in the White House, there will certainly be a strongly worded statement and serious outrage in Beijing. There is a lot of hope from this meeting and the world would like to hear from President Joe Biden and leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Yoshihide Suga and Scott Morrison on various issues. These issues can be included in this discussion.

Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea

China is expanding its dominance in the South China Sea and developing various island groups into military bases. Its nine-dash line, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, threatens not only the territorial integrity of countries such as Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Vietnam, but also the region’s trade It is also creating hurdles for other countries passing through the routes. It has built large military bases on various natural and artificial islands in the South China Sea and the Quad’s joint statement should refute Chinese claims.

Territorial disputes with other Asian countries

There will be hardly any country in the Asia-Pacific, which does not have any territorial dispute with China. India is no exception, we have also fought a war in the Himalayas. The memories of the conflict in Doklam and Eastern Ladakh are still fresh. These disputes are a major concern for instability and conflicts in Asia. Furthermore, China does not appear to be serious about resolving these issues. So far, no global forum has advocated the concern of other countries regarding China and a strong policy statement towards such territorial disputes is the expectation of many South Asian countries.

Security of Shipping Channels in Asia Pacific

China is expanding its military dominance at an alarming pace and has so far built major bases in Djibouti, Gwadar, Hambantota and many other places in addition to the South China Sea. These bases are a direct threat to major shipping channels throughout the Asia Pacific region and the security of these channels is of utmost importance. Quad (QUAD) must specify its policies and action plans to secure them.

Military cooperation between the Quad countries

Although military cooperation has begun between India, the US, Australia and Japan and these countries have conducted several joint exercises, including the Malabar military exercise, in the past, there is a long way to go. A strong military alliance is needed today to counter China. The Quad leaders will have to work on its structure, functioning and interoperability on the lines of NATO. The Quad is widely regarded as Asian-NATO, but its modalities are not yet clear. An effective military alliance needs to be drafted and promoted on various aspects.

Participation of other regional powers in the Quad

Peace in Asia Pacific does not depend on just four countries. Although these four economies are the largest and have a significant share in the Asia Pacific, it would be difficult to stop Chinese expansion without the participation of other powers, especially the ASEAN countries. China has direct influence in these countries through trade or other aspects and the Quad (QUAD) efforts may be hampered if these countries are not involved. The Quad leaders will have to formulate a plan to involve other countries, which will not only help in the success of the Quad, but will also help in better interactivity and mutual cooperation in the region. The recently formed AUKUS alliance is building a layer on top of the Quad and reducing the Indian and Japanese stake in the Quad. Whether the UK will be part of the Quad or AUKUS will remain as an independent body are questions that need to be answered.

corona virus epidemic

For almost 20 months, the world has been badly affected by the corona virus and the two most affected countries are the United States of America and India. Both the countries are important constituents of the Quad (QUAD). The world would like to hear about plans for mutual cooperation and help for COVID relief, which can be given not only to Quad members, but also to other economies in the Asia Pacific. Three countries (USA, Japan and Australia) are developed in the quad members, while India has the largest vaccine manufacturing capacity, which can help humanity. The quad statement is also likely to explore India’s vaccine diplomacy.

Confusion about Taiwan

One of the most important aspects of Asia Pacific is the position of Taiwan or the Republic of China. Till now it is not recognized as a country by international bodies and it is struggling for its existence. Taiwan can play an important role in stopping the dragon, which the world should understand. It is a serious question, how can Taiwan be part of the Quad (QUAD) or help the Quad achieve its goal? China has been very vocal about the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Quad leaders should anticipate its reactions before making any announcements. Taiwan’s 24 million or more than 24 million population is watching the Quad with hope, as the region fights for its existence.

The four countries of the Quad (QUAD) have different views on China. Australia sees China as its rival in trade and the dispute between the two countries has so far been limited to trade, while the United States (USA) has been calling China a threat to the world. Japan has both territorial and economic disputes with China, while India has fought a major war and is engaged in both economic and military conflict with the Dragon. At a time when the world is still recovering from the pandemic that originated in China, all eyes are on the outcome of the Quad Summit and the success of this Quadrilateral Coalition.

(The author, Major Amit Bansal (R) is a defense expert and has a deep understanding of internal security as well as international relations. The views expressed in this article are his personal views.)

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