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Member States Emphasise On Military Ties While Quad Focuses On Humanitarian Aid
Member states’ unwillingness to call Quad a military platform is primarily derived from its nascent stage as a grouping, while another challenge is the fear of China among smaller Asian countries
Photo Credit : Govt of Japan
Japan-Australia-India-US (Quad) Leaders’ Meeting was held in Tokyo on 24 May 2022
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad is not a military grouping, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said during Raisina Dailogue in New Delhi, and added that the Quad is to help countries to deal with humanitarian situations in natural disasters.
Blinken further said, “One of the things that we are doing through the Quad is trying to bring together not only governments, academia and experts, where we can collaborate together on the technology, innovation and in other areas.
At the same time, Indo-US military engagements have become increasingly important in recent years. India plans to buy 30 advanced MQ-9B drones for around USD 3 billion, which are outfitted with anti-submarine warfare capabilities as well as land-attack and anti-ship missiles.
New Delhi sees these high-tech drones as critical tools to boost the Indian navy's surveillance efforts in the Indian Ocean, where China has increased its naval presence. The deal which involves high-tech technologies also shows increasing trust between the two countries.
On the other hand, another Quad member state is eager to enhance cooperation with India. Last week, when the Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese visited India for the first time, New Delhi welcomed with open hearts and colours.
During the press conference, Albanese said that India and Australia bolstered defence and security arrangements amid increasing uncertainty in the Indo-Pacific led by fears over China's actions in the region, and I welcome significant and ambitious progress under the defence and security pillar of our relationship.
On India-Australia relations, vice president of New Delhi-based think tank, Observer Research Foundation, Harsh V Pant said, “In the last some years, relations between the two countries have significantly grown and from attending cricket matches to celebrating Holi in India and making a trip on the newly built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant are the apparent examples.”
“Few would have expected some years back that the Indo-Australia relationship would be flourished like this. Not only flourished but there is wide consensus on different issues between both countries and a lot of momentum in this,” Pant said.
Member states’ unwillingness to call Quad a military platform is primarily derived from its nascent stage as a grouping. While another challenge is the fear of China among smaller Asian countries.
Pant said, “If Quad will be a military power, regional powers might avoid engaging with us.”
“For example, Asian member states are very reluctant to partner with a grouping that has strong military connotations against China and if the quad is a military platform, we have to define, against whom. However, Quad countries are free to boost military ties at the bilateral or trilateral levels,” he added.