A lot has changed since the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) first met in 2007. The group that was dissolved in 2008, just a year after its formation was brought back into existence in 2017. The QUAD is a collective strategic forum made up of four countries: The United States of America (USA), India, Australia, and Japan.
During the 2017 ASEAN Summit in Manila, the heads of the four members of the group, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and US President Donald Trump decided to revive the group. The move was motivated by the intention to counter China militarily and diplomatically in the “Indo-Pacific” region, particularly in the South China Sea. Since their first virtual meeting in March 2021, in-person Summit in Washington, D.C. in September2021, and virtual meeting in March 2022 inTokyo, the QUAD Leaders have had four interactions. The last meeting was held on 24 th May in Tokyo.
The meeting happened at a juncture when the world is seeing a cluster of events happening that may change the political and economic structure as we see today. The conflict in Europe, pandemic induced weak economic conditions of the countries are issues that need to be resolved quickly. “QUAD is a representation of the growing importance of India in the global decision-making process. It also highlights India’s strategic and continuous efforts to lead the peacemaking process in today’s chaotic times” said, Rajya Sabha member, YS Chowdary.
In the meeting, PM Modi emphasized India’s unwavering and principled stance on the need for a cease fire, resumption of negotiation, and diplomacy. According to S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs the Tokyo summit was the most productive to date, demonstrating both QUAD’s progress and its potential for future expansion. QUAD members agreed to provide more than $50 billion in infrastructure support and investment to the Indo-Pacific region over the next five years. “Given the pandemic, it is natural for QUAD to advance a vaccine partnership,” he said while talking about the priorities of the group.
In recent times, more leaders, other than the existing members, have shown interest to take part in the QUAD meetings. Yoon Seok-youl, the newly elected President of South Korea, is the latest to express interest in the QUAD. South Korea is a major military force, with the tenth-largest defence expenditure in the world, and 600,000 personnel. In the five years starting from 2022, the government aims to spend a total of 315 trillion won ($247 billion) on the military. The hallowed slogan that one constantly hears from QUAD officials is that the QUAD is not a security partnership. However, the QUAD leaders’ joint statement at the closing of the conference had a strong emphasis on security issues.
Though indeed, the QUAD does not have a definite structure or a governing body, members of the bod have lately been working together as an efficient team, affecting major decisions and policies. Experts and diplomats in the four countries believe that the group is evolving to become a more influential body for global political affairs.