Millennium Post

Quadrilateral cooperation

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his US counterpart President Donald Trump together in Houston rally, among other things, signalled areas of strategic convergence and the path ahead in the bilateral ties. Security concerns pertaining to methods to contain radical Islamic terrorism was a main point of talks that came through clearly in this meet of the two leaders. Both premiers identified terrorism as a serious threat, acknowledging the strategic concerns of India given the hostility in its neighbourhood. With the bilateral step-up gesture, the defence cooperation between India and the US has gathered momentum. Besides the bilateral exchange, the multilateral grouping such as the Quad comes back in the picture of strategic affairs in connection with both India and the US among other concerned parties. Matters have taken such a turn that it is decided that later in the year, US and India will carry out a joint tri-services military exercise. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the Quad, is an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia, and India that is maintained by talks. It was in 2007 that a dialogue was initiated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with support of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and Australian and American representatives. Joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale (titled Exercise Malabar) was a crucial part of this undertaking. Such a diplomatic and military arrangement is established as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power over both territorial and maritime stretches. As expected, the Chinese government's response to the Quadrilateral dialogue came in the form of extending formal diplomatic protests to its members. While this organisation lay defunct for a good number of years following the withdrawal of Australia due to their policy in the light of growing tension between the United States and China in the Asia-Pacific, its revival in the 2017 ASEAN Summits lent it a purpose of safeguarding the maritime stretch beyond the Indian Ocean Region to check China's belligerent expansionist tendencies. A year after India refused to upgrade its Quadrilateral grouping with the United States, Australia, and Japan to the level of Foreign Secretaries, the Foreign Ministers of the four countries are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. The concept of quadrilateral cooperation among the four member countries is inextricably linked to China's emergence as a great power. China's recklessly growing unilateralism drives major nations to aim at reducing the regional imbalance by banding together. Prime Minister Modi's latest US visit is also significant with respect to this strategic concern.

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