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India should Seek ‘Hawkish Balance’ through Quad

Upgrading the Quad to the foreign minister level is a step in the right direction; India should use the grouping for strategic leverage, particularly against China

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) received an upgrade last week when the foreign ministers of Australia, Japan, India and the US met at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The Quad was conceived in 2007 to address the unconventional threats in the Asia-Pacific region. But China viewed this grouping as a ganging-up of the US and its allies to contain its rise. It protested against this arrangement and asked each country to explain the grouping’s objectives.

China’s protests pushed the Quad into cold storage. However, China’s rampant naval modernization and other activities increased its inroads into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), while the militarization of the South China Sea, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have threatened the Quad countries’ interests. China’s much-anticipated “strategic support base” in Djibouti was inaugurated in August 2017. This was a tipping point for the revival of the Quad and its upgrade to joint secretary-level talks in 2017.


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