The role of the fourth group is being scrutinized after the Akus submarine deal

Members of a group of quads from the United States, Australia, India and Japan are expected to focus on non-military initiatives as a result of the Akus security deal, government officials and analysts told First Private Leaders before a meeting in Washington on Friday.

The quad revived in 2017 after a nine-year hiatus as China’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy raised security concerns in Japan, India and Australia. The Trump administration saw grouping as a vehicle to deal militarily with Beijing.

But the Aukus agreement signed last week between the US, UK and Australia to build nuclear submarines for Canberra has raised questions about the purpose of the quad.

“Two-thirds of the quarters are Akus,” said Maria Rost Rubelli, an associate professor at Monash University. “It will be up to the Biden administration to decide where they want the quad to go and if they want to, it will be clear. . . India will be an investment partner. ”

Japanese officials have welcomed Aukus for strengthening security ties but are keen to show that the quad is an initiative capable of achieving its objectives in a non-military way.

“The reason for participating in the Japan Quad is China’s aggressive move and everyone knows it,” said Mitoji Yabunaka, a former foreign minister and now a visiting professor at Ritsumaikan University. “But it’s a diplomatic institution and it’s different from military-based structures like AUCAS.”

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Sringla has rejected the proposal that AUCAS could replace the Quartet as the most important strategic initiative in the region, a group with a “positive and constructive agenda” and a vehicle to focus on climate change, vaccines, emerging. Technology and infrastructure.

The Quartet leaders are expected to focus on these issues as well as greater cooperation প্রযুক্ত technology like chips অনুর similar to their approach at an online summit in March সাহায্য will help allay concerns among other Asian countries that the group’s sole purpose was to control China.

Several states want the United States and other powers to engage in the region in a way that counters Beijing’s growing power but has reservations about purely military initiatives that could escalate tensions or force China against its neighbors.

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Martin Rasser, a technology and national security expert at the Washington-based think tank Center for a New American Security, said the conference marked “a major step in achieving a comprehensive strategic technology partnership.”

“Effective cooperation and coordination in this and other areas will strengthen each country’s economic competitiveness and national security,” he added. “By emphasizing the principle of shared values, the Quartet is outlining a new technology-democratic state.”

But some experts say the group, which has identified 10 areas of potential cooperation this year, has risked raising its own targets in line with other international initiatives.

Hailey Channer, a former Australian defense official and now senior policy fellow at the Australian think tank Perth USA Asia Center, said the group should focus on vaccine distribution, quality infrastructure, critical and emerging technology and supply chain resilience. He said these were issues on which governments were politically connected and on which members could use their power and benefit neighbors.

“Multiple lines of effort suggest that they have not decided what to focus on and prioritize,” he said. The agenda seems to be driven more by the United States than by joint high-level policy decisions, which encourage the inclusion of climate change and the capacity of the bureaucracy of member countries.

The Quartet leaders are expected to discuss Akus, primarily to ensure the deal does not rupture.

“Akus will help India’s objectives in the Indo-Pacific region, which it does not want to do,” said Tanvi Madan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank. “This will increase Australia’s reach in the Indo-Pacific region and keep the United States busy.”

But New Delhi is concerned about the rift between France, the United States and Australia, after Canberra canceled a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with Paris to sign a new deal, angering the Emanuel Macron government.

“For India, France is a resident power in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, the most active European power in the region and a closer Indian defense partner,” Madan said. “India wants all its friends to play well with each other because friendly fire only helps China.”

As the US-France friction intensifies, Tokyo has panicked. “The political order we want to establish in the region is not exclusive. We welcome Akus but we also value cooperation with other countries, “said a Japanese Foreign Ministry official.

Another concern is that Australia may be confused by Akus. “No one knows what the quadrilateral actually is and it’s rather loose,” said Rubelli of Monash University. “Aukus is more clearly defined and provides a significant national advantage. So while the current government will still be interested in the quadrilateral, there will inevitably be less resources and time for the quadrilateral.

In tackling such trends, analysts believe it is in Washington’s interest to ensure that security cooperation is an essential part of the grouping.

Lisa Curtis, a former senior director of South Asia at the National Security Council during the Trump administration, said, “While the summit will be primarily on military issues, don’t be mistaken that these four nations have security issues in mind.” Center for a New American Security. “The Quartet’s commitment to an independent and open Indo-Pacific Ocean is a way to reverse China’s growing assertiveness over its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas.

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