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First Leaders’ Summit: QUAD

  • 13 Mar 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Prime Minister addressed the first summit of the leaders' of the QUAD (Quadrilateral Framework). The meeting was hosted by the USA on a virtual platform.

  • Earlier in February 2021, QUAD ministerial meeting discussed issues across Indo-Pacific and the military takeover in Myanmar.
  • QUAD is a grouping of India, USA, Australia and Japan which aims to safeguard the interests of democratic nations in the Indo-Pacific region and address global challenges.

Key Points

  • Focus:
  • Pledge:
    • QUAD pledged to promote a free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
  • Highlights:
    • Quad Vaccine Partnership:
      • Agreed to ensure “equitable” access to vaccines to counter the pandemic.
        • Agreed to a plan to pool their financial resources, manufacturing capabilities and logistical strengths.
        • Japan, USA and Australia will finance the vaccine initiative that India has welcomed.
      • Appreciated the Vaccine Maitri initiative (India’s Vaccine Diplomacy) of India.
        • Vaccine Maitri Initiative is an initiative launched by India to give Covid-19 vaccines to neighbouring countries.
    • Discussion on China:
  • India’s Stand:
    • QUAD is united by its democratic values and will remain an important pillar of stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
    • Called the meet an extension of the ancient Indian philosophy Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which regards the world as one family.
  • America’s Stand:
    • QUAD is not a military alliance or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) equivalent, it is an opportunity to cooperate on economics, technology, climate and security.
    • Maritime security, humanitarian and disaster response are core to the QUAD agenda.
    • QUAD is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Australia's Stand:
    • QUAD grouping could be the start of a new, permanent and powerful regional grouping of like-minded democracies.
  • Japan’s Stand:
    • Acknowledged the new dynamism that QUAD has received because of the meeting of the top leaders of the member countries.
    • It will firmly advance its cooperation to realise a free and open Indo Pacific, and to make a tangible contribution to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region, including overcoming Covid-19.
  • China’s Apprehension:
    • Exchanges and cooperation between countries should contribute to mutual understanding rather than targeting a third party and refrain from pursuing exclusive blocs.
      • A meeting between the top diplomats of the USA and China is set to be held in Alaska later in March 2021.
    • QUAD should uphold the principles of openness, inclusiveness and win-win results and do things that are conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity.


  • About:
    • It is a four-nation alliance of India, Australia, USA and Japan which was established in 2007.
    • It is often dubbed as an "Asian" or "mini" NATO, and is viewed as a counterbalance to China's military and economic clout in the Indo-Pacific region.
      • The 2020 US-China Economic and Security Review Commission shows China's growing power projection along the Indian Ocean rim with military or economic activities in countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
    • Interestingly, the QUAD, which used to be known as the quadrilateral security dialogue, is now known as the quadrilateral framework to indicate it has gone beyond a narrow security dialogue.
  • Evolution:
    • The group, which began with an ambitious geostrategic vision 14 years ago, failed to take off initially due to hesitation among the four nations and objections by China.
    • In December 2012, Shinzo Abe again floated the concept of Asia’s “Democratic Security Diamond” involving Australia, India, Japan and the USA to safeguard the maritime commons from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific.
    • In November 2017, India, the USA, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "QUAD" Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence (especially China).
    • Since then, QUAD has taken several steps to bolster military and strategic ties with a series of working- and ministerial-level meetings.
  • Participation in Malabar Exercise:
    • In 2020, all four QUAD Countries - Japan, India, Australia and the USA took part in the Malabar exercise.
    • Malabar exercise is an annual trilateral naval exercise between the navies of India, Japan, and the USA which is held alternately in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Source: TH

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