The survival of the quad depends on dealing with security and trade issues

No power in Asia or the Indo-Pacific region is becoming as crucial to American interests in the region as India. New Delhi also seems receptive to this new relationship. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United States and his meeting with President Joe Biden certainly echo this. Delhi-Washington relations are poised to become one of the strongest security partnerships in the world. However, to realize this vision and define a strong Indo-Pacific axis, the two must build their partnership on the basis of the quadrilateral security dialogue narrative while articulating a bilateral relationship that truly sums up the potential of their “Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership”. “.

Make partnership a force behind Quad

The recent meeting between the two leaders marked their first in-person interaction; it was a crucial development renewing the Indo-American partnership under Biden while charting a new plan for the future. It is important to note that the main programs of their relationship have been identified as building a strategic partnership, working with regional forums like the Quad, improving a trade and investment partnership for “Global Good ”which attacks the coronavirus and builds their democratic bond via an increase in relations between people. interactions with people. In essence, managing the post-pandemic order, parity in vision to tackle revisionist China, and strengthening bilateral ties to make a declaration in the Indo-Pacific are rapidly becoming the strengths of cooperation. Indo-American. Yet the two countries still lack absolute trust in each other and bilateral relations have yet to be optimized to achieve truly “global” potential.

The Quad Leadership Summits – both the virtual consultation in March 2021 and the face-to-face meeting in September 2021 – were historic meetings focused on specific programs that the consortium defined to enable concrete cooperation between the four members at regional levels. and global. Vaccine diplomacy, emerging technologies and climate cooperation were highlighted as key areas of collaboration in March. The recent meeting sparked increased commitment to increased cooperation in cyberspace, coordination of infrastructure, people-to-people exchanges, denuclearization of North Korea and the situation in Kabul. Given this comprehensive plan and the United States’ strong treaty alliances with Japan and Australia, the Quad is poised to evolve into a much more collaborative multilateral framework with specific areas and programs.

Yet the future evolution of the Quad – and whether it is successfully institutionalized as an effective formal mechanism in the region – will invariably depend on the ability of India and the United States to find additional synergy in their thinking and respective Indo-Pacific policies. In other words, the fortune of the Quad depends heavily on the management of the strategic thinking between India and the United States, and any gaps or gaps in this bilateral cooperative thinking will come as a setback to weaken the Quad process, affecting negatively world democracy and its practices. New Delhi and Washington must therefore build a synergy based on a Quad management plan that ensures the special and rather unique security partnership between them, capable of driving the Quad process for the “global good” – the namesake of their last statement.

A quad management plan

India and the United States have already made progress in improving their Indo-Pacific connection based on their commitment to a free, open and inclusive region. To make their partnership an effective partnership, not only an ambitious and far-reaching vision is needed, but also a substantial and tangible action plan. Such a plan must be based on a leadership framework that not only ensures the survival and progress of the Quad, but more importantly, it should make the Quad a much stronger, solidified and meaningful multilateral (or rather minilateral) framework that can overturn any regional power expansion efforts of an authoritarian nature.

A focus on certain critical areas is crucial to establish a more solid foundation for the Quad. This includes areas such as establishing a stronger regional security agenda; securing resilient value-based supply chains regionally and globally; investments in resilient and sustainable infrastructure in the region, emerging technologies and technological governance; and the formulation of a strong democratic discourse in the international order. Several of these areas are already priority areas of the Indo-US partnership and featured prominently in the bilateral leaders’ joint statement released recently, spelling out the “special bond” shared by the two countries. The United States and India will need to launch strong cooperative programs to advance the Quad goal of their partnership.

A four-based security program in the Indo-Pacific region

To see objectively, the United States and India need to establish a more robust security program for the Quad, which could help the group aim to secure and stabilize the region against unilateral activities and policies. To this, the recently announced AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) security alliance is an important development, aimed at helping Australia to equip Australia with nuclear submarine technology capabilities, which will strengthen including the potential of the four like-minded countries. play a greater role in the security of the region, and at the same time, reshape the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region.

In addition, the alliance is likely to assuage India’s concerns in its backyard, especially as more and more of India’s strategic partners are strengthening themselves in the face of an aggressive China and increasingly. more powerful. At the same time, AUKUS also offers a strategic window of opportunity for India; while the United States has ruled out adding India or Japan to the security alliance, India’s cooperation with AUKUS, even indirectly, could considerably strengthen the Indo-Pacific influence of New Delhi, contain China’s aggressive actions in the region and strengthen India. American relations further.

While Japan and South Korea are central to US diplomacy in managing security in Northeast Asia as security allies, and Australia is another key alliance partner in politics the Anglo-American alliance of the United States, which the UKUS recently reaffirmed; India promises much more. Via New Delhi, the United States could build a future framework of alliance leadership in the democratic world, bridging the gap between the powers of the North and the South.

Building resilient supply chains

A US-Indian Quad management framework is expected to focus on the security and stability of supply chains, an issue that has received a lot of attention since the coronavirus pandemic that revealed an excessive global reliance on the China and China-centric supply lines. These concerns were echoed in particular at the Quad Leadership Summit, which partly focused on the urgency to cooperate on critical technology supply chains. Such awareness has drawn attention to the ‘China Plus One’ movement, which has gradually but increasingly been embraced by private companies and countries around the world as they adjust to a post order. -pandemic and seek to protect themselves from future disruptive events. In this context, the Trilateral Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI), led by India, Japan and Australia, seeks to reduce supply chain risks and build a global network sustainable supply chains and could mark a policy shift towards collective offers for the implementation of a “China Plus One Perspectives.”

Most importantly, supply chain cooperation was identified as a new and essential part of the Quad agenda at the first in-person Quad Leaders Summit on September 24. It was at this point that leaders from India, Japan, Australia and the United States stressed the importance of ensuring the continued global supply of vaccines through supply chains. open and secure. Access to vaccines is far from the only area of ​​interest in supply chains; Quad is also committed to working together to create “resilient, diverse and secure supply chains of critical technologies”, especially semiconductors, through transparent and market-oriented policies. Responsible, resilient and green supply chains of clean energy under Quad’s mandate on climate change is an additional area of ​​focus, which paves the way for future connections with national initiatives such as the Green Deal. South Korea and global commitments such as the SDGs.

In this context, the SCRI could play a major role as an initiative already under construction and act in its perspective of “expansion… based on consensus” and work with like-minded countries, such as the United States. In fact, from the point of view of the economic dimensions of a potential management framework, the active participation of the United States is essential, given the integral role that Washington plays in the Global Supply Chain network. However, for such focused cooperation to take shape, India and the United States must necessarily strengthen their economic relations. This will require an ongoing dialogue between the two states to negotiate and resolve differences, and more importantly, a willingness to make certain compromises to gain benefits in their regional interests and objectives. A stronger supply chain connection will not only help contain China’s emergence as a technological powerhouse (in addition to its economic powerhouse), but will help overcome vulnerabilities in the US supply chain. United and strengthen India’s global position in the supply chain link (through its national focus under the “Autonomous India” initiative).

An investment in Connect infrastructures

There is a need to put more emphasis on building resilient and sustainable infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region. The Quad’s statement in March notes that infrastructure continued to be a key area of ​​collaboration highlighted at the recent Quad meeting. India and the United States share an interest in financing sustainable infrastructure and connectivity through the G7 (plus three) and G20 forums. In fact, New Delhi is considering participating in Biden’s proposed Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, which aims to champion a rules-based order through transparent and resilient sustainable infrastructure programs. China has a definite advantage in this area with its massive Belt and Road initiative, and the success of the Quad or the B3W (or the Blue Dot Network including the United States, Japan and Australia for that matter) will require a plan. clear action.

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