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Where Should the Quad Go Next?

18 Nov 2020
Dr David Brewster
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 7:48 AM

Abstract

The re-establishment of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between India, the United States, Japan and Australia may be one of the most important developments in regional security for several decades. The Quad brings together four key maritime democracies in a loose coalition with shared concerns about China's growing assertiveness. Recent actions of China, including the clash between PLA and Indian troops in the Himalayas, assertiveness in the South and East China Seas and its trade sanctions against Australia have only reinforced perceptions of the value of this grouping. But the grouping remains nascent and many questions remain about its purpose and form, including:

  • Is there a clear understanding of common objectives, including threat perceptions of China?
  • How should it prioritise areas for cooperation – military, political or economic?
  • Should the Quad be 'deepened' or 'broadened' as a priority?
  • Should there be a loose geographic or thematic division of responsibilities among Quad members?
  • Should its focus only be on regional issues? What global issues might be relevant to the grouping?
  • To what extent the grouping should be formalised, including the potential establishment of a secretariat?
  • How should the Quad work with other partners – so-called 'Quad Plus' arrangements?

This presentation will discuss these issues and suggest some answers to these questions.

 


About the Speaker

Dr David Brewster is a Senior Research Fellow with the National Security College, Australian National University, where he is one of Australia's leading experts on security in the Indian Ocean region. Dr Brewster's books include India as an Asia Pacific power, about India's strategic role in the Asia Pacific and India's Ocean: the story of India's bid for regional leadership which examines India's strategic ambitions in the Indian Ocean. His latest edited volume is India and China at Sea: Competition for Naval Dominance in the Indian Ocean. Dr Brewster's recent reports include Australia's Second Sea: Facing our Multipolar Future in the Indian Ocean which proposes a new economic and security strategy for the Indian Ocean region, and Addressing Geo-environmental Security Challenges in the Indian Ocean Region: Setting a Regional Agenda, which discusses key environmental security challenges in the Indian Ocean.

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