Politics

Why the Quad is alive despite premature obituaries

In 2018, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, famously predicted that the Quad is like “sea foam in the Pacific or the Indian Ocean: [it] may get some attention, but soon will dissipate.” That was four years ago and the Quad is still alive and well. Apparently he was wrong. So were I and a host of other analysts. It is important to understand why – and what changed.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is an informal strategic dialogue among the US, Japan, Australia and India. It was initiated in 2007 by the Japanese prime minister at the time, Shinzo Abe. It was widely perceived as part of a China-containment strategy.

Since 2014, discussions were bolstered by the annual trilateral Malabar (US-Japan-India) and other trilateral exercises and at least one quadrilateral naval exercise. But after China issued formal diplomatic protests to Quad members asking their intention, Australia withdrew and the meetings ceased.



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