The foreign ministers of the United States, India, Australia and Japan met in Tokyo on Tuesday with the aim of strengthening the alliance, which was launched to counter China’s expansion of influence in Asia, in the framework of a quadruple agreement (quad). – Pacific region.
The alliance has experienced ups and downs in recent years, but has gained new momentum in 2020 following the escalation of border disputes between India and China and diplomatic and trade disputes between Australia and Beijing.
The member states claim that the alliance is not an “Asian NATO” and that it considers the COVID-19 as a potential alternative to China in areas such as disaster relief and information security.
Roots before the 2004 tsunami
The four countries worked together for the first time since the January 26, 2004 earthquake in Indonesia triggered a tsunami off the east coast of India, killing at least 230,000 people.
Three years later, the four countries formed the Quadripartite Security Dialogue. The then Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was the driving force behind the initiative.
The main task of the Quartet was to conduct joint naval exercises as part of the ongoing bilateral Malabar exercise between the United States and India.
But the following year, then-Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd withdrew from the coalition; He did not want his country to be on the team challenging China, which has become an important economic partner for Australia.
Australia is back
A decade later, China’s increasing efforts to build regional networks and expand its military influence, especially in the South China Sea, have provoked violent clashes with India, prompting the four countries to renew their alliance, this time with strong commitment from Canberra.
These countries participated in the Malabar 2020 exercise and confirmed the group’s image as a military alliance.
China responded that the alliance was a Cold War-style group controlling China.
At a time when the administration of former US President Donald Trump is making some efforts to protect the Quartet, Joe Biden went further and held the first summit of the leaders of this alliance in March 2021, just weeks after taking office.
In September 2021, the four attended Washington, which led to the strengthening of the alliance, but did not announce the formation of an official alliance.
This is an example of Washington’s new strategy of forming alliances with states and institutions around specific common goals, rather than traditional military alliances.
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