US, Japan, India and Australia revive their ‘Quad’ meet today, 7 July, in Singapore. The countries will hold the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, on the sidelines of an official Asean meeting in Singapore.
It will be at the joint secretary level. It is the first meeting after 2017 that happened on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit (EAS).
The meeting follows PM Narendra Modi’s keynote speech about India’s Indo-Pacific policy at the Shangri-La Dialogue and will be followed by SCO Summit at Qingdao, where China and Russia are the main leading powers.
The ‘Quad’ is India’s efforts to “re-balance” its global partnership. After 2017, there have been engagements among the countries where they tried to work on the areas of common interest, but it’s still not clear if all will take a united view this time.
India is very careful not to mix Malabar Exercises (to be held in Guam this year) with the Quad, as that would be a red flag to China. China and Russia have been already trying to conflate the ‘Indo-Pacific’ policy with the Quad. They have the same views on the grouping of the ‘Quad’. At Shangri-La Dialogue, PM Modi has to clarify that India’s Indo-Pacific policy is emerged out of India Ocean outreach.
“India’s armed forces, especially our Navy, are building partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region for peace and security, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. They train, exercise and conduct goodwill missions across the region. For example, with Singapore, we have the longest un-interrupted naval exercise, which is in its 25th year now. We will start a new tri-lateral exercise with Singapore soon and we hope to extend it to other Asean countries. We work with partners like Vietnam to build mutual capabilities. India conducts Malabar Exercise with the United States and Japan,” PM Modi emphasized at Shangri-La Dialogue.
The first Quadrilateral Dialogue happened in 2007 to discuss regional and global cooperation. It was an effort made Japanese PM Shinzo Abe during his one-year term as the Prime Minister from 2006-2007.