Quad
22/02/2021

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CONTEXT:
  • India joined Australia, Japan and the United States for a ministerial meeting under the quadrilateral grouping.
ABOUT:
  • Military takeover in Myanmar featured in the talks and participants reiterated democratic values for the region.
  • India also emphasised in its statement that the meeting expressed commitment to “upholding rules based international order” and “peaceful resolution of disputes”.
  • The meeting was held in the backdrop of the ongoing withdrawal of Chinese forces from positions along the Line of Actual Control but the months-long military tension did not find mention in the read outs.
  • Japan and Australia focused on joint efforts to combat the pandemic. The meeting agreed to enhance access to “affordable vaccines, medicines and medical equipment”.
  • The read-outs from the four ministers touched on all the familiar Quad themes — maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, counter-terrorism, cooperation on COVID-19 management, and building supply chain resilience.
  • The only new element — support for rule of law and democratic restoration in Myanmar — was a response to the unfolding events in that country.
  • It signalled the new USA administration’s commitment to the Quad as a key formation in the Indo-Pacific
  • QUAD is the quadrilateral security framework involving Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
  • This recent Quad meeting, so soon after the agreement with China on Ladakh disengagement, underlines that India’s interest in the Quad is not tactical but profoundly strategic.
  • For India the Quad is really about addressing the growing power imbalance with China that has manifold consequences for India’s security and prosperity as well its regional and international standing.
  • While Delhi’s foreign policy traditionalists remain rather defensive about the Quad, PM’s team evidently views it as an unprecedented strategic opportunity for India to shape the emerging regional and global order.
                                                                       

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