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News: US President Joe Biden will be hosting the first in-person meeting of the Quad countries on September 24. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga will be present at the meeting.At the meeting, the Quad leaders will focus on issues related to the Covid-19 crisis, climate change, cyberspace and security in the Indo-Pacific.
• The quadrilateral security dialogue includes Japan, India, United States and Australia.All four nations find a common ground of being the democratic nations and common interests of unhindered maritime trade and security.
• The grouping traces its genesis to 2004 when the four countries came together to coordinate relief operations in the aftermath of the tsunami.
• It then met for the first time in 2007 on the sidelines of the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
• The intention was to enhance maritime cooperation between the four nations.
• Quad is an opportunity for like-minded countries to share notes and collaborate on projects of mutual interest.Members share a vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific. Each is involved in development and economic projects as well as in promoting maritime domain awareness and maritime security.
• It is one of the many avenues for interaction among India, Australia, Japan and the US and should not be seen in an exclusive context.
Chinese angle of QUAD:
• Each of the Quad members are threatened by China’s actions in the South China Sea and its attempts to extend its sphere of influence through initiatives such as the One Belt One Road Project.
• The US has long been concerned about the global competition with China and have maintained that China aims to subvert the international rules-based order.Japan and Australia are likewise both concerned about China’s expanding presence in the South and East China Seas.India has its own long pending border issues with China.On the other hand, China sees the existence of the Quad as part of a larger strategy to encircle China and has pressured countries like Bangladesh to avoid cooperating with the group.
• The Chinese foreign ministry accused the group of openly inciting discord among regional powers in Asia.
• Despite the potential for cooperation, the Quad remains a mechanism without a defined strategic mission.
• The Quad is not structured like a typical multilateral organisation and lacks a secretariat and any permanent decision-making body.Additionally, unlike NATO, the Quad does not include provisions for collective defence, instead choosing to conduct joint military exercises as a show of unity and diplomatic cohesion.
• The entire focus on the Indo-Pacific makes the Quad a maritime, rather than a land-based grouping, raising questions whether the cooperation extends to the Asia-Pacific and Eurasian regions.
• The fact that India is the only member that is averse to a treaty alliance system, has slowed down the progress of building a stronger Quadrilateral engagement.