The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as the Quad, is a strategic security discussion involving Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. Member countries engage in talks to maintain this dialogue. The Quad’s primary aim is to safeguard the strategic sea routes in the Indo-Pacific, ensuring they remain free from military or political influence, and promote a “free, open, and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region, serving as a strategic alliance to counter Chinese dominance.

The central objective of the Quad is to establish a global order based on rules, guarantee freedom of navigation, and support a liberal trading system. Quad leaders discuss a range of contemporary global issues, including critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cybersecurity, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, climate change, pandemic response, and education.

Initiated in 2007 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with support from Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, the Quad faced challenges when Australia withdrew due to political pressure from China. However, the forum was revived in 2017 during the ASEAN Summits to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea.

Tensions between Quad members and China have raised concerns about the emergence of a “new Cold War” in the region. The first in-person meeting of Quad leaders took place in September 2021, hosted by the U.S., where discussions covered issues such as climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

The Quad is also associated with the Malabar naval exercise, a multilateral naval drill involving its permanent members (USA, India, and Japan) and Australia, a participant for the past two years. The exercise, initiated in 1992 between the U.S. and India, expanded in 2007 to include Japan, Singapore, and Australia, with Japan becoming a permanent partner in 2015.

In recent news, the second in-person Quad summit occurred in May 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. This marked the fourth interaction among leaders since their initial virtual meeting in March 2021, followed by summits in Washington D.C. in September 2021 and a virtual interaction in March 2022. Key highlights of the summit included shared concerns over the Ukraine-Russia conflict, a commitment to a free and inclusive Indo-Pacific, a pledge to combat terrorism, and the announcement of the Quad Climate Change Action and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP) to enhance efforts in green shipping, clean energy, and climate-resilient infrastructure. The next summit is scheduled to be hosted by Australia in 2023.

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