Geopolitics

Africa’s much-touted healthcare on verge of clogging amid third wave of COVID19
Geopolitics

Africa’s much-touted healthcare on verge of clogging amid third wave of COVID19

World Health Organization’s regional office in Africa has warned that rising cases of Covid-19 indicating a possible third wave might choke the much hyped healthcare structure of the African sub-continent.

Healthcare framework and infrastructure in majority of the continent is already in dilapidated state. But with rising number of Covid-19 cases, the global health body is raising concerns. World Health Organization said that the infection rate is on a rise in at least 12 African countries, including Ethiopia, Cameroon, Guinea and Kenya.

Healthcare framework in Africa, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are stretched to the threshold as this week witnessed cases crossing 4.1 million mark. This was a sharp surge in cases as compared to the 2.7m cases recorded in December end. South Africa is leading with over 1.5m cases and over 52,000 deaths.

Tragically, just 7 million people have been so far vaccinated across Africa that has a population of over billion.

Compared to the first wave of Covid-19, the second of infections that rose in 2020 end was far more aggressive and catastrophic for the continent. One of the reasons could be implementation of fewer and less severe public health measures than imposed in first wave, said The Lancet this week. By 2020 end, Africa bore share of 3-4% of global cases of Covid-19. But considering the vast underestimation of true scenario, experts fear that detection of variants can be distorted.

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With Kenya recording a surge of 20% cases of Covid-19, experts have warned public of difficult days ahead. Kenya’s health ministry tweeted, “We are in the third wave of this virus, and it’s a wave that threatens to erase all the gains we have made as a country in fighting the pandemic over the last one year.” Kenya’s all intensive care unit beds have been occupied with doctors themselves getting infected with the virus.

WHO authorities in Africa said that with inadequate healthcare facilities in continent, including those for testing and isolation of Covid-19 cases, the healthcare personnel are bearing the brunt if pandemic now with “work overload, poor infection prevention and control measures”. In a tragic toll, 3.5% total cases in Africa are among healthcare professionals.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union said in a statement, “The acute shortage of doctors across the country is detrimental to health services delivery amidst the pandemic. This month has recorded an increase in healthcare workers’ infection, there are currently 10 doctors admitted in various facilities across the country and this indicates the need for extra precaution by members of the public.” The union further urged people to follow all the precautionary measures and be cautious when visiting a doctor or any medical facility.

“Covid-19 has heavily jolted the health workforce in the African region. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 267 health worker infections have been recorded on average every day, translating to 11 new health worker infections per hour,” said the WHO.

Joe Biden is not looking for a confrontation with China and warns North Korea
Geopolitics

Joe Biden is not looking for a confrontation with China and warns North Korea

US President Joe Biden said he is not seeking a confrontation with China, pointing out that the competition will be fierce between the two superpowers. Biden added that the United States will respond appropriately if North Korea intensifies its missile tests, describing also his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as an authoritarian ruler who doesn’t have an atom of democracy.” But Biden stressed to have personally told Jinping on several occasions that Washington is not looking for a fight, but the competition will be very intense. “We are consulting with our partners and allies,” he added at his first White House press conference. There will be reactions if North Korea decides to continue.” President Biden said, adding that he is ready to establish some form of diplomacy with North Korea, but it must be conditional on the outcome of nuclear disarmament.

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the Sea of ​​Japan overnight. According to the Japanese government, the test of ‘two unidentified bullets took place shortly after 7 am local time, and the missiles landed in the water, just outside the exclusive economic zone of Tokyo.  This is Pyongyang’s second launch in nearly a year and the first of its kind since the administration of US President Joe Biden took office.

The developments come a few days after the military exercises carried out in the area by the US command in collaboration with South Korea and the visit of the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken together with the Minister of Defense, Lloyd Austin, first in Tokyo and then in Seoul, to strengthen relations with allied countries.

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During diplomatic meetings, Blinken stressed the importance of a process of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Statements that have been called “raving theories of a North Korean threat, based on baseless rhetoric” by Pyongyang’s Deputy Defense Minister, Choe Son Hui. Washington intends to re-establish negotiations with the hermit country but has reported that initial attempts at a confrontation have so far been ignored. Biden does not hesitate: “We are consulting with our allies and partners: there will be an answer if Pyongyang chooses an escalation,” US President Joe Biden told CNN.

The North Korean regime confirmed yesterday that it had launched the two missiles, defined as “guided tactics of a new type”. The official ‘KCNA’ news agency reported that the North Korean Academy of Defense Science performed the test with “great success”. The rockets, underlines the ‘KCNA’, hit their targets in the waters 600 kilometers from the coast. The new carriers can carry a warhead weighing 2.5 tons. Yesterday was the second launch carried out by Pyongyang in the last week. On Sunday – according to the South Korean news agency ‘Yonhap’ – North Korea had launched two cruise missiles from the west coast.

CFR says US needs to re-strategies its investment initiatives to combat China’s global influence
Geopolitics

CFR says US needs to re-strategies its investment initiatives to combat China’s global influence

A recent study indicated that US administration despite its hardline approach towards China has not been able to do much to counter its increasing influence all over the world ranging from economic, political, diplomatic to defense arena. Analysts also hinted at laid-back approach followed by the previous US administration, under Donald Trump, which contributed to US falling off the track.

According to the report, which was put out by the Council on Foreign Relations, “U.S. inaction, as much as Chinese assertiveness, is responsible for the economic and strategic predicament in which the United States finds itself. U.S. withdrawal helped create the vacuum that China filled with BRI.”

The report, which was released on Tuesday, added, “Although the United States long ago identified an interest in promoting infrastructure, trade and connectivity throughout Asia and repeatedly invoked the imagery of the Silk Road, it has not met the inherent needs of the region. Its own lending to and investment in many BRI countries was limited and is now declining.”

Beijing has been able to pace ahead of Washington with its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which focuses on financing massive infrastructure projects all across the globe, including roads, railways, power plants and telecommunications. With regard to the Chinese multi-million dollars project, David Sacks, a research analyst at CFR and one of the report’s co-authors, said, that the “unbound geographical” nature of the project led to its exponential growth.

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In a bid to re-strategise its move to counter China, the new US administration, under Joe Biden, has decided to focus on strengthening its old alliances and forming new ones especially with smaller nations, which otherwise could be an easy target for Chinese regime to mount pressure on. In this regard, Biden administration launched the Small and Less Populous Island Economies (SALPIE) Initiative.

The initiative was designed to directly fight back Chinese predatory investment practices, especially to provide a lucrative alternative to island territories located in the Caribbean, North Atlantic and Pacific regions.   Sack said that it was too early to say if SALPIE would be able to beat China’s BRI. He said, “Blue Dot (which was launched during Trump era) was not resourced and it remains to be seen whether this new initiative [SALPIE] is resourced. What we need is not only kind of a declaratory policy and to go out publicly and say, ‘We want to compete, we want to be the partner of choice,’ but we need actual funding and resources behind it.” 

The geopolitics of anti-covid vaccines between Big Pharma, Sputnik, AstraZeneca, and others
Geopolitics

The geopolitics of anti-covid vaccines between Big Pharma, Sputnik, AstraZeneca, and others

Ladies and gentlemen, we are at war. It is not the usual conflict we are used to. But the vaccine race is clearly delineating a conflict, or rather the dynamics of the geopolitics of medicine, on a global level. The USA, Israel, and the United Kingdom have for now the primacy of the diffusion of vaccines among all the countries of the world.

Facing each other in this war, at the moment there are also China, Russia, and India. In this game or Risiko, in which not only human lives are at stake but also the pace and States’ economic recovery consistency, what matters is not only have developed a vaccine but also have helped to finance it. And being able to produce it in massive quantities, as India is doing. The following is an analysis of the spread of vaccines administered in 132 countries, equivalent to 85% of the world population.

With three vaccines in the field, the US is the real superpower. They left in time, thanks to substantial public and private funding and the best researchers, identified even outside their borders. This is the case of the German spouses of Turkish origin Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, founders of BioNTech. It is the company, specialized in the research of immunotherapies against cancer, to which the American Pfizer has offered a rich agreement for the development of a vaccine against Covid-19, also financed by the German state and the Bei (the European Bank of investments). T

his explains the favor reserved for it by the EU and by Germany in particular. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is already administered today in 77 countries, often coupled with Moderna (present in 32 countries): in addition to the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, it has been chosen by all European countries, including those of Eastern Europe. , except Moldova and Ukraine which only use AstraZeneca, and San Marino which has chosen the Russian Sputnik. This vaccine has also reached the Holy See.

On the other hand, it is absent in the African continent, except in Rwanda, together with AstraZeneca and Moderna. Turning to the Middle East, Israel has chosen it with that of Moderna, while it is the only vaccine in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Qatar. As well as in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Little present in Central America (in Mexico there is but with AstraZeneca and Sputnik), in South America it has not conquered the largest countries, except Colombia. As for the islands, it is the exclusive choice of Bermuda, Cayman, and Turks and Caicos. 

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The recent authorizations for the third US vaccine, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, see its use at the moment only in the United States and South Africa, but many countries have authorized it, including France and Italy. Developed by the Jenner Institute of the University of Oxford, produced and distributed by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, the British vaccine is currently the most widely used in the world, thanks to its lowest price. Among the 78 countries that are already using it, there are almost all Europeans, including from the East. Unlike the Americans, AstraZeneca is highly optioned in Africa, where it has conquered seven of the 13 countries that have vaccinations underway, including Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco with the Chinese Sino Pharm, Rwanda, and Uganda. It is not very present in the Middle East, except in Saudi Arabia with Pfizer-BioNTech, and in Bahrain and the Emirates, which have optioned all the major vaccines. In Asia, it has been adopted in India, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mongolia. Among the islands, Antigua, Barbados, Maldives, Mauritius.

The Russian Sputnik was the first vaccine in the world registered against Covid-19 in August 2020, thanks to the research that the Gamaleya Center had already done on Ebola and MERS. Sputnik has currently been authorized in nearly 50 countries but is only operational in 18. The European Authority (EMA) has not given it the go-ahead: politically there is no will to fund Vladimir Putin’s regime. At the moment it is injected not only in San Marino but also in Montenegro, Serbia, and Hungary, the only country in the world where all the vaccines in circulation are used. There are many countries with authoritarian regimes that have chosen it: Algeria and Tunisia, Iran and Venezuela.

It is also present in Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Italy is the only European country that has signed an agreement for the production of ten million doses of Sputnik. This break in the anti-Russian front was received coldly by the major EU countries. The 10 billion dollars that Russia would squeeze from the hypothetical sale of one billion doses worldwide is disturbing, considering that they almost equal the value of its arms exports of the same period. Meanwhile, the Siberian Vektor laboratory has registered the second Russian vaccine: the EpiVacCorona. 

Turkey, Egypt, Hungary. These three states, which have welcomed the Chinese vaccines SinoPharm and SinoVac, would be enough to give the measure of how China moves by offering alliances to key countries in strategic quadrants. In South America, exports concern giants such as Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. In its area, it has conquered the Philippines, en route to its US ally for not having received the promised doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, and Indonesia, another disappointed US partner, alongside Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. The offensive is such that the United States and Japan are ready to finance a billion doses, to be produced in India and distributed from Australia throughout Southeast Asia.

The Philippines slams China’s militarisation of the South China Sea with 200 vessels
Geopolitics

The Philippines slams China’s militarisation of the South China Sea with 200 vessels

The Philippines criticized China’s militarisation of the disputed waters in the South China Sea by stationing 200 vessels in order to forcefully claim the region. Manila’s maritime forces noticed the vessels beings docked at Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls Julian Felipe, on March 7. The country’s National Task Force, which guards the West Philippine Sea, released pictures of the vessels lying side by side, highlighting the communist nation’s “provocative action”

On Sunday, Philippines’ defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana released a statement objecting to Chinese intervention in its territorial waters. Lorenzana, upholding his country’s sovereign rights over the region, said, “We call on the Chinese to stop this incursion and immediately recall these boats violating our maritime rights and encroaching into our sovereign territory.”

Southeast Asian nation’s task force, which reported against Beijing’s military manning 220 vessels lined up in the disputed waters, said in a statement, “Despite clear weather at the time, the Chinese vessels massed at the reef showed no actual fishing activities and had their full white lights turned on during night-time.” It added that the presence of Chinese ships was “a concern due to the possible overfishing and destruction of the marine environment, as well as risks to the safety of navigation”.

Manila’s foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin, said that the country filed an official report late on Sunday against China’s arbitrary move. The contested region is a boomerang-shaped, shallow coral region about 175 nautical miles (324km) located the west of Bataraza town in the western Philippine province of Palawan. Manila’s government watchdog claimed that it was the country’s exclusive economic zone, over which the Philippines “enjoys the exclusive right to exploit or conserve any resources”.

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The Philippine military chief, Lieutenant General Cirillo Sobejana said the military’s “utmost priority remains to be the protection of our citizens in the area, particularly our fishermen, through increased maritime patrols”.

So far Chinese embassy has remained silent over the issue. But critics in the Philippines have blamed President Rodrigo Duterte, for adopting the non-confrontational approach and developing friendly ties with Beijing despite its stepping into the Philippines’ territory. In his defense, about two years ago, Duterte said, “When Xi says ‘I will fish,’ who can prevent him?” He added, “If I send my marines to drive away from the Chinese fishermen, I guarantee you not one of them will come home alive”.

N Korea to sever ties with Malaysia in view of US extradition ruling
Geopolitics

N Korea to sever ties with Malaysia in view of US extradition ruling

State media reported, on Friday, that North Korea would cut off diplomatic ties with Malaysia after a court verdict that a North Korean man could be extradited to the U.S to face money-laundering charges.

Its foreign affairs ministry warned Washington that it would “pay a price”, in a statement released by the state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The North Korean statement didn’t name its citizen, but in the earlier days of March, Malaysia’s apex court ruled that a North Korean man, Mun Chol Myong, could be deported.

Myong had lived in Malaysia for nearly a decade and was caught in May 2019 after US authorities had requested his extradition. Malaysia’s government accepted the request, but Mun challenged the bid.

In his affidavit, Myong denied accusations by the US that he took part in supplying prohibited luxury items from Singapore to North Korea as a clear violation of UN sanctions while he worked in the city-state before leaving Malaysia in 2008.

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He also denied that he was involved in the laundering of funds through front companies and that he issued forged documents in support of illicit shipments to his country. 

He, in his affidavit, said that he was the sufferer of “politically motivated” extradition requests that were aimed at pressuring North Korea to halt its missile program.

The North Korean external affairs ministry called the extradition a very “nefarious act and unpardonably heftycrime” by Malaysian authorities, who had “named our citizen as a sacrifice of the US antagonistic move in defiance of the widely acknowledged international laws.”

Malaysia’s actions had tarnished “the entire crux of the bilateral relations based on respect for sovereignty,” it said.

Malaysia’s foreign ministry, in a statement on Friday, said that it “deeply regrets” North Korea’s step to cut ties.

“Malaysia condemns the decision and calls it unfriendly and unconstructive that disrespects the spirit of good neighbourly relations and mutual respects among members of the international fraternity,” the ministry said.

It said that the decision was “unwarranted, clearly disproportionate and very disruptive towards the promotion of stability, peace, and prosperity of the region”.

US slams China for using “coercion” and vaccine diplomacy to increase its influence in Asia-Pacific region
Geopolitics

US slams China for using “coercion” and vaccine diplomacy to increase its influence in Asia-Pacific region

On Wednesday, as the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin headed to South Korea after wrapping talks with Japanese officials, Washington issued warning against Beijing’s use of “coercion” and vaccine diplomacy to increase its influence in Asia-Pacific region.

Blinken’s comments came a day before the scheduled meeting between him and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, along with the foreign affairs chief of the Chinese Communist Party, Yang Jiechi, in Anchorage, Alaska. Thursday meeting would also be attended by US national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Observers believed that Blinken’s tone towards China ahead of the meeting reflected America’s continued hardline approach towards its rival.

Last week, the US released its national security strategy document calling China as “the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system.” 

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Reuters reported that soon after Blinken and Austin concluded their “2+2” talks with their Japanese counterparts, US Secretary of State released a statement, “We will push back, if necessary when China uses coercion and aggression to get its way.” The new US administration has been actively reviving ties with various regional partners including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India and Australia to control China’s increasing influence in the region.

In a joint statement released by Japan and the US after the meeting, both the nations shared concerns over China’s unlawful detention of the Uyghurs Muslim minority, its aggressive maritime activities in the South China Sea including making claims over Japan’s Senkaku Islands, which Beijing refers as Diaoyu islands. Blinken said that both US and Japan stand for “democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” which seemed to be “under threat in the region”, referring to the stifling political scenario in China and Myanmar.

Raising the issue of vaccine diplomacy, Blinken warned against the use of vaccines for anything other than humanitarian grounds. He said, “We shouldn’t tie the distribution or access to vaccines to politics or to geopolitics.” While hinting at China, he emphasized that the vaccine sharing deal was being used by certain nations as “strings attached… And that certain requests are made, and maybe stronger requests are made of countries in order to receive the vaccines.”

How pandemic is affecting fundamental rights of people across nations – An Analysis
Geopolitics

How pandemic is affecting fundamental rights of people across nations – An Analysis

Rule of law’s critical pillar of fundamental rights is evidently deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic across the globe. World Justice Project Rule of Law Index for year 2020 clearly shows that many countries have declined remarkably in maintaining fundamental rights score than any other rule of law factor over last five years.

Lockdowns and quarantines during pandemic have dramatically impacted freedom of travel and freedom for people, but have also impacted fundamental rights in certain key arenas.

Crisis has triggered some state responses that are discriminatory against certain groups:

The founding principle of rule of law that states ‘all people would be treated equally regardless of color, race, sex, religion, language, origin, political or other opinion, status’ has been affected during pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has led states to disproportionately discriminate against certain groups. The already lying fissures in societies have been widened during pandemic.

The World Justice Project (WJP) has noted that certain nations have deliberately discriminated and neglected certain communities while responding to pandemic. This further put these groups at risk. Indigenous communities have been particularly hit by these discriminations. The dramatic impact is seen in native communities of Ecuador, Brazil and other Amazonian nations.

Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are other groups to have been hot hard by state policies. Enhanced policing and movement restrictions directed at refugees of Syrian origin by Greece and Lebanon is one such example.

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Racial discrimination in the name of stigmatizing certain people has caused havoc on certain populations. For example, Asian people have been targeted for having spread the coronavirus and faced violence and harassment at the hands of public. This has been further fueled by leaders of nations like United States that have roped in the anti-Asian discrimination.

Suppresses freedom to dissent and expression:

Though emergency situations like a pandemic warrant stricter measures to safeguard public health, but even then right to expression must be safeguarded to allow flow of information. Certain nations have taken pandemic as an opportunity to tighten rules over freedom of expression of public and dissent in certain cases. Imposing of stricter laws and sanctioning expression of information about pandemic labeling them as ‘fake’ has been as way states have exploited the pandemic. Prime examples are how censorship has scorched Asia and Middle East.

Right to Privacy:

Rise in surveillance measures and contact tracing as a way to control spread of coronavirus pandemic has raised questions around protection of privacy rights of people. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recommends states must refrain from using the derogation mechanism when possible, stating that “although derogation or suspension of certain rights is permitted when such emergencies are declared, measures suspending rights should be avoided when the situation can be adequately dealt with by establishing proportionate restrictions or limitations on certain rights”.

Coronavirus pandemic has laid wide open crevices and fissures in our society and global laws framework that have in all probabilities been there but in a hidden context. Lapse in fundamental rights provision to people has led to further complexities as a by-product of the pandemic. Bringing solution for these agendas must be in top priority to keep order and equality among societies.

US explores fresh approach in order to develop its policy towards North Korea
Geopolitics

US explores fresh approach in order to develop its policy towards North Korea

On Sunday, US administration confirmed that the new Presidency under Joe Biden has initiated attempts to reach out to North Korea to convince the Asian nation for denuclearization. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior US official said that the government made efforts “through several channels starting in mid-February, including in New York.” He added, “To date, we have not received any response from Pyongyang. This follows over a year without active dialogue with North Korea, despite multiple attempts by the United States to engage.”

Biden administration has called for a thorough review of US policy towards North Korea with an aim to avoid “risks of escalation” of tensions between the two nations. The official said that the review is expected to be submitted in coming weeks and would include analysis of “all available options to address the increasing threat posed by North Korea.” Kim Jong Un’s nation has been actively engaged in developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, despite international sanctions.

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The two nations, who have been at loggerheads, showed signs of hope during Donald Trump’s administration as leaders of both leaders held multiple rounds of talks but not much was achieved at the end of both Singapore and Vietnam summit, held in 2018 and 2019 respectively. During his election campaign, Biden called the North Korean premier a thug and said that he would meet him only “on the condition that he would agree that he would be drawing down his nuclear capacity.” The US leader, like his predecessor, pressed the need for the peninsular nation to adopt nuclear disarmament.

Kim declined the proposed nuclear disarmament plan put across by previous US administration and accused Washington of following “hostile policies” towards Pyongyang. As an act of defiance, Kim hasn’t even acknowledged Biden as new US president. US now plans on turning to its East Asian allies including Japan and South Korea to explore fresh approach in its pursuit to develop effective foreign policy towards North Korea. The US official said, “We have listened carefully to their ideas, including through trilateral consultations.” His statement came ahead of the US and Japanese foreign and defense chiefs’ meet, to be held in Tokyo on Tuesday. According to a recent UN report, that North Korean leader continued the nuclear and ballistic missile programs throughout 2020, coming in direct violation of international sanctions. The nation has been accused to accumulating about $300 million through multiple cyber attacks made to facilitate funding of its nuclear programs. The report by independent sanctions watchdog, said Pyongyang “produced fissile material, maintained nuclear facilities and upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure” despite sanctions.

How worried should Beijing be over the US, Japan, India, and Australia’s Quad Alliance
Geopolitics

How worried should Beijing be over the US, Japan, India, and Australia’s Quad Alliance

Friday is marking the most important day for US President Joe Biden diplomatically as he is moving forward with his goal of containing China as a territorial emerging power and its threatening territorial encroachment across the Indo-Pacific. Biden is bringing a virtual gathering for Quad leaders. 

The alliance has been called a symbolic “poisonous Cold War mentality. The mention of China being a discussion topic for Friday was however absent. White House said topics on the agenda are Covid-19, economic cooperation, and climate crisis. Indian Prime Minister said that he would be discussing “free and open Indo-Pacific” with fellow Quad leaders Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison, and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.

Quad Alliance or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a loose and informal strategic forum that was revived in 2017, led by rising power plays by Beijing. The forum holds summits on a slightly regular basis and features military drills and exchange of information. Though it is not a formal military alliance like NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), Quad is still considered a potential alliance to counter growing Chinese influence in the region. 

But how important Quad really is for the region and what can it potentially transcribe into against China!

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US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson, US military’s Indo-Pacific Command head has called Quad a group of “diamond of democracies” in the region. He further noted that he hoped alliance could “build into something bigger”

He elaborated, “Not in terms of security alone, but in terms of how we might approach – the global economy, critical technologies like telecommunications and 5G, collaboration on the international order. Just much to be done diplomatically and economically.”

Former US Defense Secretary James Mattis along with three other fellows at Hoover Institution wrote in Foreign Policy that Quad can play a crucial role in four key areas – maritime security, supply chain security, diplomacy and technology. 

RAND Corp think tank’s senior analyst Timothy Heath said, “Many countries in the region, especially Southeast Asia, will likely welcome the closer cooperation among the Quad members to balance against China’s power.” 

Experts predict that if Quad continues to rein in pressure on China, Beijing can be expected to retaliate. The tensions can be more serious and extreme in form of economic retaliation against the Quad nations. This could be rather detrimental for India, Australia and Japan as all three have China as their largest trading partner. 

But the fact that Quad is still an informal alliance with fissures between nations making the front far from united, is a point of big comfort for Beijing. The lack of any formal Quad gathering makes it far from being called an “Asian NATO”. But if China steps up its military aggression and territorial invasion then Quad may evolve as a more robust and active military alliance to counter it. As long as Beijing avoids direct or indirect confrontation, Quad’s potentiality can be taken as low. 

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