Can the new China-led QUAD be a success? Beijing has always been wary of the US led QUAD—an informal cooperation group between India, US, Japan and Australia but now with the newly formed nexus between the US, UK and Australia – AUKUS—China’s concerns have risen further.
It is already moving fast on forming its own “QUAD” with Russia, Pakistan and Iran.
While Beijing based Global Times said that this newly formed alliance will deal a “psychological blow to India and Japan,” needless to say that China, which has always been opposed to the QUAD too, has reasons to be concerned.
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According to the newspaper, Washington, by launching AUKUS, aims at building a more solid and broad foundation for its Indo-Pacific Strategy. It also said that Washington sees AUKUS and the Quad complementing each other.
China-led QUAD-Does India need to worry?
As the China led QUAD is undoubtedly aimed to counter India and US’. New Delhi, being a key player in the Indo-Pacific region, needs to be watchful but foreign policy analysts have also raised doubts over the success of this alliance.
Co-operation between China and Russia has been increasing over the last few years, while the former and Pakistan have always been partners. In the last few years, Iran too has become a focal partner for Russia and China.
So, in theory, this grouping seemed a natural extension of their independent foreign affairs. But several analysts said that the underlying tensions and conflicts may not be easy for China and Russia to navigate.
“Fired by the hubris of the successful centenary of the Communist Party of China, Beijing has been plotting its next moves on the geopolitical chessboard, and countering Quad is one of them,” Rajiv Bhatia, distinguished fellow, Gateway House and a former ambassador wrote in an article in Hindustan Times.
An Observer Research Foundation report noted that though co-operation and strategic partnership between China and Russia has significantly increased, “a closer look shows that Beijing’s engagement with Russia is significantly selective and based on its personal gains.”
“China has shown its unwillingness to support Russia on multiple occasions including its refusal to back Moscow on Crimea and Ukraine, it said.
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Similarly, it is worth noting that Russia too has concern over China’s activities in Central Asia, which it considers its own backyard. Not just that. Moscow is also keen to work with India, something that China may not be comfortable with.
“We need to understand that this grouping is primarily based on the premise of countering the US-India-Japan-Australia QUAD. So it is a group with mixed and conflicting interests and we have to see if they can come to a smooth and common working platform,” an analyst told India Narrative.
Meanwhile, as the US withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, it is set to focus more on the Indo Pacific.
“From Beijing’s perspective, this trilateral initiative is yet another US-led coalition emerging,” the Guardian quoted Dali Yang, a Chinese foreign policy expert at the University of Chicago as saying.