WHY THE QUAD'S MALABAR DRILL MAKES CHINA NERVOUS?
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|November 2020
Introduction to the QUAD
JAY MANIYAR

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), as the name suggests, is a security-focussed forum organised between two premier Asian nations in Japan and India, and two outlying global powers in Australia and the United States of America (USA). Geographically, the USA and Australia are ‘peripheral’ yet inclusive Asian nation-states that profess to a wide-ranging set of regional security interests leading to a comprehensive and concerted involvement in Asian security affairs.

The QSD is the QUAD, with the moniker also being the name by which it is popularly known ubiquitously. It was founded in 2007 at the behest of Japan under the prime ministerial reign of the now-retired Shinzo Abe. The organisation remained dormant for over a decade before resuming operations in recent years. Despite its history, the QUAD retains a nascency in its geopolitical presence, activities, and influence. The QUAD’s highest-level engagements include foreign ministerial-level meetings, the most recent of which was held in Tokyo in early October 2020. Foreign ministerial level meetings were an elevation to the continued formalisation of the QUAD and took place for the first time last month.

Japan’s three partner-countries in the QUAD assumed the mantle of eventually becoming indispensable to the QUAD owing to an ineradicable congruence with emerging security interests in the greater Asian regions. Recently, the QUAD seemingly gained military materialisation with a landmark edition of the MALABAR exercises for 2020 (originally conceived between India and the United States) having now subsumed the remaining two QUAD members in Japan (since 2015) and Australia (for the first time in a decade). There is, however, no official attribution to the MALABAR being ‘the QUAD’s exercises’ by any of the four participating navies.

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