Opportunities for India Under Quad Arrangement

Opportunities for India Under Quad Arrangement

Quad

  •  Australia
  •  India
  •  Japan
  •  United States

China’s unilateral claim on the Nine-Dash Line in the South China Sea; rapid warship building its first overseas base in Djibouti; and its surface and subsurface activities in the Indian Ocean beyond the Malacca Straits have alarmed regional countries like India and Japan about increasing Chinese ambition. First, QUAD failed to rise due to unlike ideas of sovereignty with common adversaries. Later, to counter China’s hegemony, the re-birth of QUAD took place in 2017 for balancing the single dominance of China in the Asiatic region. Started with the basic interest of all 4 nations like; LEMOA, CISMOA, India-japan nuclear deal, Inclusion of japan into Malabar, pitch-black & Talisman saber exercises,

Inclusion of Australia

In this context, the idea of Quad was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. Finally, in November 2017, India,  Japan,  Australia and the USA gave shape to this idea.

  • Sharing perspectives on security threats ranging from maritime challenges to counter-terrorism and piracy issues and increased cooperation on infrastructure and connectivity.

 Opportunities for India Under Quad Arrangement

  • Checkmating China

The maritime space is a lot more important to China than engaging in opportunistic land grab attempts in the Himalayas. A huge chunk of Chinese trade happens via the Indian oceanic routes that pass through maritime chokepoints. In the event of any Chinese aggression on borders, India by cooperation with Quad countries can potentially disrupt Chinese trade. Hence, unlike in the continental sphere where India seems facing a ‘nutcracker like situation’ due to China-Pakistan collusion, the maritime sphere is wide open to India to undertake coalition building, rule setting, and other forms of strategic exploration.

  • Emerging as a Net Security Provider

There is a growing great power interest in the maritime sphere, especially with the arrival of the concept of ‘Indo-Pacific’. For instance, many European countries have recently released their Indo-Pacific strategies.

With India, located right at the centre of the Indo-Pacific geopolitical imagination can realise the vision of a ‘broader Asia’ that can extend its influence away from geographical boundaries.

Moreover, India can build around collective action in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, monitoring shipping for search and rescue or anti-piracy operations, infrastructure assistance to climatically vulnerable states, connectivity initiatives and similar activities.

Further, India with Quad countries can check the imperialist policies of China in the Indian Ocean region and ensure Security and growth for all in the region.

 Issues with Quad

  • Undefined Vision of the group.
  • The entire focus on the Indo-Pacific makes the Quad maritime and only that.
  • India’s Aversion to Treaty Alliance System slows down progress.
  • China’s territorial claims(9 dash line)
  • Economic hegemony of China(RCEP influence)
  • Maritime dominance,
  • Trustworthiness of US,
  • Non-alignment,
  • Internal economic challenges,
  • Political instability,
  • Minilateralism,
  • China’s QUAD version is QCCM i.e., Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism with the following 3+1 countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan + Nepal. It came in 2016 due to which in 2017 India, Japan, US & Australia gave re-birth to the original QUAD to counter China’s move.
  • Russia’s reluctance towards the role of QUAD

 Way forward

  • Need for clear vision
  • Expanding quad
  • Need for a proper maritime doctrine