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'The Qaud', becoming a matter of concern for Beijing

By Standard Reporter | Aug 11th 2021 | 2 min read

U.S. President Joe Biden in a virtual meeting with Asia-Pacific nation leaders at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 12, 2021. [Reuters]

After the first meeting of "the Quad" in 2017, the Chinese Foreign Minister scoffed at it as a "headline-grabbing idea," but within a few years, "the Quad" has become a matter of concern for Beijing.

In March 2021, when the Quad held its first leader-level summit, Chinese officials had begun to view the Quad with growing concern.

Since then, Beijing has concluded that the Quad represents one of the most consequential challenges to Chinese ambitions in the years ahead, Foreign Affair reported. Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe had considered the Quad as a way to build the four countries' capacity to work together.

The Quad is uniquely problematic for China's strategy because its aim of unifying a multilateral coalition of resistance has the potential to stiffen spines across the whole of the Indo-Pacific and possibly beyond, Foreign Affair reported.

The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. [Reuters]

For the Chinese President, a point of introspection is that whether the Quad will evolve to be comprehensive enough to effectively balance against China? Thereafter deciding if Beijing's global dominance is inevitable or not.

Initially, Chinese experts considered that a relatively straightforward solution to the new challenge from the Quad is wedging between the members of Quad by stressing each state's overwhelming dependence on the Chinese market. But Beijing has struggled to mount an effective response to the Quad challenge.

Following the Quad Ministerial meeting in 2020 and several Malabar exercises, Wang Yi had shifted his words slamming the effort to build an "Indo-Pacific NATO" and calling the Quad's Indo-Pacific strategy "a big underlying security risk" to the region, Foreign Affair reported. Meanwhile, President Biden's administration had proposed the first in-person "Quad" meeting with leaders of India, Japan and Australia in late September.

This meeting would mark unity among the four Indo-Pacific democracies amid China's growing assertiveness, President Biden is seeking to build "a position of strength" to directly engage with Chinese President Xi Jinping The meeting is expected to clamp down on China's so-called 'vaccine diplomacy', in which Beijing is giving vaccine shots to the developing nations.

Various issues including vaccine production and cooperation in infrastructural projects could also be discussed in this meeting.  

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