WION reports from Tokyo: Despite no security goals spelt out, Quad understands China’s threat to Indo-Pacific

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad has been in existence since 2007. It was first mooted by former Japanese Minister Shinzo Abe and has seen several ups and downs.

But their common perceived threat from China emboldened them to give shape to the long-pending “Quad” Coalition in 2017 to develop a new strategy and keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

And this perceived threat is likely to be the main agenda of the fourth edition of the Quad summit that is to be held in Tokyo on May 23 and 24.

According to reports, India, the US, Japan and Australia have planned to launch a satellite-based maritime security system at the Tokyo summit to check China’s illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific region.

It is largely believed that China is the biggest perpetrator of illegal fishing which has threatened many traditional livelihoods and economies in the region.

Japan remains very clear on threats posed by China to its territorial integrity, the US and Australian governments have been raising concerns about China’s new deal with the Solomon Islands, and India is still logged in a border stand-off with China

So, all four centuries understand and agree that this is a threat it needs to be addressed. But will they spell it out or do something about it is the big question.

Watch | Quad Summit 2022: Focus will be China’s aggression against Taiwan

For many years, it was said that Quad has an identity crisis—is it the Asian NATO, is it the Asian Red Cross or something in between.

The lack of clear vision and security goals have clearly marred the potential of the Quad grouping.

However, it has seen a lot of progress in the last two years as the leaders of Japan, US, India and Australia will be meeting for the fourth time. The other two meetings were held virtually due to the Covid pandemic.

So, it can be said that there is definitely intent, but the failure to even spell out their clear security concerns has cast doubt on Quad’s functioning.

Apart from that, Ukraine will certainly feature in the conversation and that is where India has to do a balancing act to try and ensure that other countries do not hijack the agenda of Quad this time.

It will be interesting to see how India balances its convergences and divergences in diplomacy, as there’s a lot that there goes in the Quad grouping—energy partnership, economic partnership.