Quad Summit In US
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the first-ever in-person summit of the four leaders of the Quadrilateral Framework (Quad) in the Indo-Pacific in Washington.
- Experts say this indicates the U.S.’ intention to show its “America is back” plan with a proactive strategy on the Indo-Pacific, even as it faces criticism for the manner of its pull-out from Afghanistan..
- Above all, the Quad summit is expected to show all the four countries as part of a strengthened coalition of “democratic politics, market economies and pluralistic societies”.
Agenda of QUAD?
- Free and open Indo-Pacific: While the first iteration of the Quad grouping in 2005-2009, formed in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami, focused on friendly maritime exercises and HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief), its reprise in 2017 has focused much more on the threat to the Indo-Pacific maritime sphere, mainly from unilateral actions by China on the South China Sea and other disputes.
- Connectivity and infrastructure projects: The 2017 Quad meetings of officials followed that of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the grouping was seen as an economic challenge to China as well, as Quad statements promised joint connectivity projects and transparent infrastructure funding for countries in the region in danger of being “debt-trapped”. The Donald Trump administration also launched its “Blue Dot Network” (BDN) as a way to grade project sustainability.
- Critical technologies and resilient supply chains: The Quad also set up a working group on critical and emerging-technology “to facilitate cooperation on international standards and innovative technologies of the future”.
- Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is the informal strategic dialogue between India, USA, Japan and Australia with a shared objective to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.
- The idea of Quad was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it, apparently due to Chinese pressure. In December 2012, Shinzo Abe again floated the concept of Asia’s “Democratic Security Diamond” involving Australia, India, Japan and the US to safeguard the maritime commons from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific.
- In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence (especially China).