India-US Forum: US calls for expansion of QUAD

The United States at the recent India-US forum has called for the expansion of QUAD grouping. US stated that like-minded countries and groupings should come together and join hands to protect and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific ocean. 

Highlights

  • The call was made by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun at the India-US forum in New Delhi.
  • US side highlighted that the Quad grouping have potential to deepen and strengthen the cooperation with the ASEAN bloc in Southeast Asia.
  • This would help to ensure freedom of seas and security of the seas in accordance with the United Nations Conventions on Law of Sea.
  • US side further said that Quad nations can also work with ASEAN bloc in areas of governance, environmental protection, health and transparent data sharing.

Background

US Deputy Secretary arrived in New Delhi on October 12, 2020. The 3 day visit was planed to finalise the groundwork for the third edition of two-plus-two dialogue between India and the US. During the meet, both side had an extensive talks on bilateral, regional and key global issues. They also discussed the need of focusing the common vision of the two nations for the Indo-Pacific region. Earlier, all the foreign ministers of the Quad grouping had also met in Tokyo on October 6, 2020 and they discussed the plan to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Expanding QUAD

Quad is a partnership forum that is driven by the shared interests. Any nation seeking free and open Indo-Pacific and who wants to take measures to ensure the openness can join the hands and admitted to the grouping.

QUAD Grouping

The QUAD grouping comprises of four nations namely US, India, Australia and Japan. The grouping was established in 2007 after a dialogue between the then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, US Vice President Dick Cheney, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The four members since then try to revive the grouping in the backdrop of tensions in the Indo-Pacific region because of China’s expansion policy.