US-China policy: Biden brings together Japan, Australia and India to stare down China

US President Joe Biden holds the first in-person meeting of the four-way security dialogue, better known as “the quadruplets”, an informal strategic forum of the United States, Australia, Japan and India — all democratic countries with a vested interest in countering China’s rise in Asia.
Biden will be joined in Washington by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Indian Leader Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to discuss “promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific”, according to the White House.
The meeting comes at a time of great change for U.S policy in Asia. Like the Biden administration moves to strengthen its diplomatic partnerships in the region, Japan takes a increasingly aggressive view of China’s military build up. At the same time, the Australian AUKUS defense pact with the US and UK have cemented Washington’s commitment to Asia and uneasy some key Southeast Asian partners.

On this critical point, what the Quad chooses to do? next is more more important than ever. Australian Institute of Strategic Policy senior analyst Malcolm Davis said in comparison met its early roots under the George W. Bush administration, the Quad had: evolved from a “low” key political and economic dialogue” to a very important player in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The Quad is not Asian NATO … but at the same time it is clear” moving in the direction of a cooperative approach to security,” Davis said.

US President Joe Biden and the US minister of  State Antony Blinken is participating in An virtual meeting with leaders of Four-way security dialog countries on 12 March in the White House.

countering China

The Quad was initially proposed in 2007, but was put on delay for a decade until it was revived under former US President Donald Trump amid China’s rise as an economic and military superpower.

the diplomatic environment in Asia has changed considerably since die 2017 revival – and the Quad has taken on a greater meaning.

In April 2020, relations between Australia and China took a major downturn after Australian Morrison called for an independent investigation into the origin of COVID-19. Beijing retaliated by imposing punitive restrictions on Australian goods and the relationship is still to recover.

Meanwhile, Washington-Beijing ties are die deteriorated under Trump, further deteriorated under Biden as the US strengthens its diplomatic partnerships in Asia with An view until containing China.

The new American outreach was enthusiastically welcomed in Australia and earlier this month the two governments joined the UK to announce AUKUS, an agreement whereby the three nations would stock exchange military information and technology to form a poet defense partnership in Asia.

Japan has also welcomed greater US involvement in the region. After an effort to pursue a warmer China policy in the early years of The time of Chinese President Xi Jinping as leader, Japan has become increasingly suspicious of Beijing over the past year.

In an unusually blunt interview with CNN in In September, the Japanese minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi that Japan would do that “resolutely defend” his territory in the East China Sea”against Chinese action.”
Japanese minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi during an interview with CNN in September.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said India is now the most cautious member of the Quad and how far de group is willing to push on defense cooperation and antagonizing China may depend on on Delhi.

After a border dispute between India and China in mid 2020, which resulted in in the dead of at least 20 Indian soldiers, experts said Delhi has been reluctant to turn Beijing against it in to chase the armor.

But writing in the news of Indo-Pacific Affairs in begin 2021, Amrita Jash, a research colleague in the centre for studies over land warfare in New Delhi, said India was quiet moving militarily closer to the US, including: new and improved military exercises, weapon purchases and technology transfers.

An Indian army convoy, met reinforcements and supplies, travels towards Leh via Zoji La, a high mountain pass bordering China on June 13th in Ladakh, India.

Part of keep the cooperation in: improved tracking and targeting technologysaid Jas. “(There is) an imperative need for India for good in to keep an eye on on Chinese (military) movements along the Himalayan border and in the growing presence of China in map in the Indian Ocean,” she says added.

Glaser said there was one other determinant in how far would the Quad be willing to go in against Beijing.

“Another factor is die from China” behavior. The more willing China to threaten others countries’interests, threat’ met economic coercion … the more countries will be willing to push back,” she said.

United on Taiwan

Taiwan is likely one of the key points up for discussion in Washington on Friday.

About the past year, Beijing has stepped up military activity around the island, which has been governed separately from mainland China since the end of a civil war more than seven decades ago.
The Chinese Communist Party considers Taiwan — home up to about 24 million people — as an inseparable part of its territory, despite never having checked it. President Xi has also previously warned that Beijing would not do that rule out the use of force until “reunite” Taiwan with mainland China.
Under Trump and now Biden, the US has strengthened its ties with Taiwan in in recent years, agree met big arms sales and sending high profile diplomats on visits to the island.
Australia has regularly joined The United States in expressing his support for Taiwan and in Juli, the deputy of Japan prime ministerTaro Aso said: in a speech reported by local media that Tokyo should join forces with Washington to defend the island from everyone invasion.
Thereafter in August, for the first time, a meeting of senior Quad officials released a statement highlighting the “importance” of peace and security in the Taiwan Strait.”

Glaser said she believed the August statement could have prevented a reference to Taiwan in the meeting of the Quad leaders this week, which would be an unusually strong one step by the indian government.

“I think that’s quite a wake-up call (for Beijing). They’ve heard it from Australia and Japan, but never from India,” she said.

A united Quad could help to deter any further aggression by the Chinese government in the direction of Taiwan, according to Ben Scott, director of the Australia’s Security and the Rules-based Order Project in the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

However, he said nuance would be important in any message to avoid a spiral in potential confrontation. “There is always a risk of go too far and in provocation expired,” he said.

US President Joe Biden speaks on national safety with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, in East room of the White House in Washington D.C., on 15 Sept.

AUKUS precipitation

The Quad meeting may come at a useful time for the US, Scott said — there’s never been a better time for Washington to show it’s a part of a broad, cohesive community in Asia.

Scott said while he believed the AUKUS agreement had been positive step for American diplomacy in Asia, it had also presented a very “Anglosphere” face to the region.

“It has itself been described as a club of maritime democracies die automatically excludes most of Southeast Asia,” said Scott. “(And) the center of gravity for (US-China) competition is in South East Asia.”

Analysis: Australia's decades-long balancing act between the US and China is: over.  It chose Washington
In a statement dated September 17, Indonesia said it “deep concerned” over a weapon race in Asia-Pacific, and called on to respect Australia international justice and its commitment to peace and stability. A day later, Malaysia said the AUKUS deal elicit other powers acting more aggressive in the region, especially the South China Sea.”

By being a part of a larger cooperation agreement with Japan and India, Scott said the US is a more different face to Southeast Asia, among others of the continent — one that is not only concentrated on military shortsightedness but also economic and political cooperation.

Beijing has cited the AUKUS deal as an example of how Washington is only focused on military power in Asia, Scott said. By comparison, China this week formally requested: join the comprehensive and progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), an 11 countries free trade pact that the US withdrew under Trump.

Scott said it was important for the US until now use the Quad to focus on “positive and inclusive” agreements in Asia-Pacific, if it effectively countered Beijing.

“Like you want until win hearts and minds in the (Asia-Pacific) region, the first priority is Covid and the second is more broader economic stability and security,” he said.

Read More: World News


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