Prime Minister Narendra Modi ,US President Joe Biden Japanese Premier Fumio Kishida and the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese have attended the Quad summit. in Tokyo. This year’s summit dealt with issues like climate change, Russian aggression on Ukraine and the Chinese threat on Taiwan.
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently on a two day trip to Japan. Most importantly, he is attending the Quad Summit with President Joe Biden and the Japanese PM, Fumio Kishida. Soon they will be followed by the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese
· This year’s Quad Summit may discuss issues like climate change, the war in Ukraine and economic growth. However, China may also become a topic of discussion and joint action. This is because of Solomon Islands signing a security pact with China, enabling it to build a naval base there. Also China is under criticism in Australia for influencing its elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attended the Quad Summit in Japan. Apart from the Indian leader, the meeting also had premiers from USA, Japan and Australia. In 2007, the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe proposed Quad( Quadilateral Security Dialogue)to check China’s growing might in South-east Asia. It aims to form an “Asian Arc of Democracy” against China. As a result, it was envisioned to include countries in Central Asia, Mongolia, South Korea and other South east Asian nations. Consequently, the Chinese also referred to it as an Asian NATO. Here is a history of Quad’s evolution and a list previous summits and their venues:
The Quad’s first summit was held in Manila, Philippines. India, Japan and USA had previously held naval exercises in Tokyo. They eventually included Australia in a naval exercise held on the Bay of Bengal. In October, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a visit to Tokyo and ratified a security agreement between India and Japan. The deal allowed defence collaboration and promoted sea lane safety between the two nations. Unlike the Quad meeting, it didn’t focus on China so much. Even then, China seemed miffled over what it believed was an attempt to encircle it.
The Australian Setback
The next phase in the Quad’s evolution and mutual relations between members began in 2008. That year Kevin Rudd became the Prime Minister of Australia. Previously, Australia went for a defence agreement with USA. That and the Quad infuriated China. Rudd’s tenure saw a relative closeness between China and Australia. He went to China even before he visited Japan. Subsequently, he also arranged a meeting between then Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi and his Australian counterpart, Stephen Smith. Australia even announced it would not propose a second round of dialogue between the four nations. With Australian withdrawal, the platform lost any relevance.
In June 2010, Julia Gillard became the Australian Prime Minister, and she reversed her country’s policy towards Quad and USA. Earlier, Australia had refrained from selling Uranium to India. With US support, her government backed it. In 2014, her successor, Tony Abbott agreed to sell Uranium to India.
Xi Jinping and the Quad
In March 2013, Xi Jinping became the President of China. And his tenure has seen aggressive Chinese relations with Quad countries. After Quad’s cessation, India lost its interest in the grouping to maintain amicable relations with China. The 2017, Doklam crisis forced it to alter its stand. It convinced India of the need to be a part of the Quad to combat China jointly.Ever since then, the Indian government has shown renewed interest in Quad.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Quad
In 2007,the Japanese premier Shinzo Abe played a big role in proposing the formation of Quad. Almost a decade later, he’d again resurrect it with help from the US President, Donald Trump. This time ,they acted in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In August 2017, Abe and Trump agreed to pursue a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”. Officials from the four nations also met before the ASEAN and East Asia Summits in November 2017. Their meetings focused on Chinese influence in the South China Sea and this made US think of reviving Quad.
Ever since then, the Quad has met five times: in 2018, they met during the Raisina Dialogues. They also met in 2019 and discussed the reforms needed in the Quad. In Bangkok, India, Japan and USA invited Australian navy in the Malabar exercise. In March 2020, they met representatives from New-Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam to discuss the Covid pandemic. The new sub group came to known as “Quad Plus” in what appears as an expansion. In May 2021, Israel and Brazil were brought over to discuss the distribution of Covid vaccines.
The Beginning of Virtual Meetings
In 2021, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for a virtual meeting of Quad countries. In March 2021, a virtual meeting was held by US President Joe Biden. The meeting launched the Vaccine Experts Group, the Quad Climate Working Group, the Quad Critical and Emerging Technology Group.
On September 24, 2021, the first Quad Leaders’ Summit was hosted at the White House in Washington. The meeting included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga. The leaders decided to establish peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Yesterday’s meeting came in the wake of accusations of Chinese involvement in the Australian elections. Thus, national security was on everyone’s agenda. Also the new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had announced aggressive climate change policies. However, USA tried to wean India off Russian arms and called for aggressive anti-Russian measures. China’s tussle with Taiwan was also discussed.