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Highlights of the Quad Summit

Synopsis: The maiden (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue)  Quad Summit witnessed declaration of a joint statement by four leaders along with a common article in the Washington post. It is a step which is expected to yield positive outcomes in the Asian Geopolitics and the Indo Pacific region.

Background:
  • The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 triggered cooperation among the navies and governments of the Quad Summit powers namely India,U.S,Australia and Japan.
  • The countries wanted to build a diplomatic alliance in 2006-08 but sidelined the idea as:
    • China opposed creation of such a group
    • Chinese Dominance at that time was not strong enough to unite QUAD members in comparison to the current scenario
  • However China’s behaviour has turned hostile since 2017. The nation’s constant adventures (including the 2020 Galwan Valley incident) induced QUAD members to concretise the vision of QUAD summit.
  • Thus the 1st virtual summit took place on 12th March 2021.
Highlights of the Summit:
  • A joint statement titled ‘The Spirit of the Quad Summit ’ was released along with a common article in the Washington post. The leaders have visualised Quad as a flexible group of like-minded partners dedicated towards advancement of a common vision which will ensure peace and prosperity.
  • The diverging views on the Indo Pacific are over. The aim is to ensure a free, open, inclusive and healthy Indo Pacifc.The region should be anchored by democratic values and unconstrained by coercion.
  • The security challenges from China especially in the east and south china seas has been recognised without expressly using the word China. The countries have agreed to adopt a smart blend of competition, cooperation and confrontation for containing Chinese actions.
  • The summit has focused on winning people’s hearts in the indo pacific region. In this regard a special initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines from the western Pacific to eastern Africa would be run.
  • Three working groups on vaccine partnership; climate change; and critical and emerging technologies (such as telecom and biotechnology) would be established.
  • Country leaders and foreign ministers have agreed to do periodic meetings in order to strengthen the habits of the Quad working together for a common vision.
  • Complete denuclearization of North Korea as per the United Nations Security Council resolutions will be carried on by members. A statement made in South Korea’s interest.
  • The Quad members agreed to restore democracy in Myanmar along with strengthening democratic resilience across the region.
Way Ahead:
  • The summit should get the four national establishments into serious policy coordination and action mode, creating new capacities.
  • The new synergy in vaccine development is a real highlight that should result in the production of one billion vaccine doses in India by 2022. 
    • In this regard, the U.S and Japan have volunteered for financial support, Australia performs well in logistics while manufacturing would be taken care of by India.
  • The call for democracy restoration can help ASEAN in carrying forward its diplomatic initiative to promote reconciliation in Myanmar.
  • Further Beijing has already shown its discontent against Quad. It has cautioned India from becoming a negative asset in SCO and BRICS groupings. 
    • Greater clarity is expected to emerge post the scheduled March 18 discussions between the top officials of the U.S. and China.
  • It is believed that some of Asian Capitals may express a cautious welcome to QUAD as they are suspicious about the vision and objectives of QUAD.

Source:  THE HINDU 

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