Q) As the Quad gains more momentum and the churn in the waters of the IndoPacific leads to new countervailing coalitions against China, critically examine the significance of Quad in the upcoming times.
Why this Question?
Important part of GS Paper-II.
Key demand of the Question
Significance of Quad in the coming times for India and the world.
Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.
Start with giving a context of the question.
In the first part, write about the significance of Quad in the upcoming times both for India and the world.
In the next part, highlight the concerns that must be overcome.
Conclude with a way forward.
The Quad or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is an informal strategic dialogue between India, US, Japan and Australia. It was proposed in 2007 but finally came into existence in 2017 with the objective to keep the critical sea routes of the Indo Pacific free of any influence (especially that of China). Securing a rules-based global order, liberal training system and freedom of navigation are its key guiding principles.
Significance of the Quad
- It endorses a free, open, prosperous and an inclusive Indo Pacific region that is not monopolized by a single country.
- It gives India a powerful platform in order to secure its interests in East Asia, coordinate strategies with powerful friends and give impetus to the Act East Policy.
- It will further boost India’s diplomatic relations with the member countries- US, Japan and Australia.
- It gives an opportunity to India to emerge as the Net Security Provider in the Indo Pacific region owing to its location right at the centre of the region.
- It will help India and the other three countries to keep a check on the imperialist policies of China in the Indian Ocean Region and also ensure Security and Growth for All in the Region.
- It will also provide a significant chance to India to shape US policies in Afghanistan-Pakistan in the Indian interests.
Challenges for Quad
- It is in conflict with the principle of non-alignment historically followed by India.
- Emergence of new players in the region can increase the multiple regional rivalries.
- Even the members of the group depend on China and therefore cannot afford to have strained relations with it.
- The member nations have different aspirations and ideologies, hence maintaining a balance between them is a difficult task.
- Strategic analysts state that this can drag India into the US- China rivalry.
- Quad should not become an Asian NATO and focus on its objective of a prosperous Indo Pacific.
- India should deepen its bilateral relations with the member states to protect India’s interests.
- Focus on cooperation with the ASEAN where Chinese presence is increasing tremendously.
- India should make sure it doesn’t lose track of its foreign policies like Neighbourhood First, Act East, SAGAR, etc.
The Quad has established itself as the core of Free and Open Indo Pacific vision. It now needs to have a definitive blueprint to have a meaningful impact on the world order. It should have a tough security-oriented core with a softer and inclusive exoskeleton that prioritises developmental agenda.