Importance Of Upcoming Quad ‘In-Person’ Ministerial Meet In Delhi
- As India-China border tensions continue to rise, the Quad foreign ministers are expected to meet “in-person” in New Delhi no less in the coming weeks.
- It is a strong signal to Beijing and a sign that the group comprising united States, India, Japan, and Australia is solidifying slowly around a tablet of common concerns centered around security but also extending to a wider set of issues including secure supply chains and a free and open Indo-pacific
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- In some of the most extensive remarks ever by a senior US official on the aims and objectives of the Quad, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun on Monday raised the possibility of “formalizing” the quad down the line but stressed the need “to make sure everybody’s moving at the same speed. “He was nuanced and extremely careful not to overstep or overreach.
- Tanvi Madan, director of the India project and senior fellow at Brookings, noted that Beigun’s comments were focused on keeping “ambitions realistic” and getting the Quad agenda right. It is not only a US initiative and the “pace will be set by all collectively.
- The ministerial meeting is expected around late September. The fact that New Delhi is the host and meeting is “in-person” during a raging pandemic is significant.
- At a minimum, it is a show of support for India and a message to China.
- Currently, China is in a state of active or suppressed and hostility towards all Quad members. China has occupied territory on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control, brutally killed 20 Indian Soldiers in June, and refused to return to Status Quo.
- This past weekend, China tried to expand its area of aggression to the south bank of Pangong Tso lake even as talks were on between the two military commanders.
- China has threatened Australia with economic retaliation for seeking an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and has relentlessly tried to encroach the sea around the Senkaku Islands under Japanese Controls.
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- As for the US, China has planted spies, stolen intellectual property, influenced local politicians, and infiltrated university campuses among the many waves of abuse of a free and open society.
- Japan and India have been more realistic about China for a long time for obvious reasons. India may have hesitated to take a clearer stand on the Quad until recently because china sat literally on its head, not oceans away. but china has pushed India to a no point of no return after its aggression this summer.
- In the end, what’s clear is that India’s hesitations around the idea of an informal-formal Quad are significantly diminished no matter what senior officials might say in public to maintain “social distance” for obvious reasons. Academics can battle on the finer points but the quad is happening it seems
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