Representatives from US, India, Japan and Australia to hold sideline talks on Quad

Representatives from US, India, Japan and Australia to hold sideline talks on Quad

The agenda and strength of the “Quad” will be further clarified when secretaries from the US, Australia, Japan and India

FILE PHOTO: An E-2D Hawkeye plane approaches to the U.S. aircraft carrier John C. Stennis during joint military exercise called Malabar, with the United States, Japan and India participating, off Japan’s southernmost island of Okinaw

Photo: Reuters/Nobuhiro Kubo

The agenda and strength of the “Quad” will be further clarified when secretaries from the US, Australia, Japan and India convene today in Singapore.

The security dialogue, started in 2007, was revived last November to discuss the participating countries’ challenges in security and navigation at sea. Today’s meeting follows last week’s Shangri-La Dialogue, where Indo-Pacific strategy to push against China’s growing influence dominated conversation. It also sidelines the June 9 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Qingdao.

Under particular pressure to address clear objectives today is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He did not speak to any visions for the Quad at Shangri-La, which may have been a calculated move in order to avoid upsetting China and Russia, founding members of SCO who only recently inducted India into the group. Amidst an ongoing Indo-Sino border dispute in Nepal, Modi must be careful in actively promoting a pro-Quad agenda seeking to corner China without losing sight of his Act East policy. Do not expect concrete, unilateral agreements regarding China specifically to emerge from the Quad today; rather, Modi will likely seek steering conversation and statements to assure the most fortified positioning possible when he faces strong challengers at his next summit.

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