Quad: An Investment Counterweight to China?

Media Coverage | February 01, 2019

In his latest article for South Asian Voices, EWI Fellow Joy Mitra argues that India's primary interest lie in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and therefore its engagement with the Quad is driven by the need to counter China in the (IOR). 

New Delhi’s role in the “Quad” grouping, made up of the United States, Japan, and Australia besides India, has been the subject of myriad debates recently. In a piece titled “Seven Myths are Keeping India and the United States from Pursuing Closer Ties,” Jeff M. Smith outlines several Indian misperceptions about the Indo-U.S. strategic relationship—and by extension with the Quad—that keep it from attaining its full potential to the benefit of both states. Smith views India’s engagement with the United States as that of a reluctant actor with an inertia-ridden foreign policy hesitating to take part in the extension of mutual security guarantees, which he regards as a key deliverable for the Quad. Dhruva Jaishankar, on the other hand, contends that the military component of the Quad exists in the mish-mash of trilateral and bilateral relationships that India and other countries in the grouping have cultivated.

Both assertions implicitly suggest that India necessarily needs the Quad to blunt the military balance that exists in favor of China. Instead, this piece argues that India’s vision of the Quad should be premised on the idea of attacking the foundation of Chinese maritime order in the Indo-Pacific, i.e. its infrastructure and investment in the region, rather than its military presence.

Click here to read the full article on South Asian Voices.