Context: The upgradation of the Quad, a consultative forum of India, Australia, Japan and the United States, to the ministerial level is a good move.
- The first meeting of the four countries at the additional secretary level took place in May 2007, to help with coordination in disaster mitigation during the 2004 tsunami.
- However, China had issued a strong démarche to all the four countries after the first meeting, interpreting the group as the formation of a nascent alliance against Beijing.
- The ‘Quad’ format had since then gone dormant until about 2017.
- On the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Manila (Philippines), senior officials of joint secretary rank met after a decade to revive the consultations.
- At the meeting, they affirmed their support for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” and the centrality of the ASEAN.
- Since then, officials have met at least twice a year on the sidelines of multilateral fora. These meetings have not yielded any joint statement, but each side had issued a separate press statement. This time there have been no press releases, except for tweets from the official accounts of the ministers.
- The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, also known as the Quad) is an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India.
- The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.
- The idea of the Quad was born in 2007, but was shelved when former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd withdrew his country’s participation.
- The Quad made a comeback in November 2017 with a formal consultation meeting in Manila involving the four countries.
Two-Plus-Two Dialogue Mechanism
- India has institutionalised the two-plus-two dialogue mechanism with Australia, Japan and U.S.
- The two-plus-two dialogue involves the discussion among the defence and foreign secretaries/ministers of the two participating countries.