The envoy was asked whether Vietnam supports the quadrilateral coalition among the four powers.
He indicated that expanding defence and security cooperation will be one of the key focus areas of discussions during Kovind's visit to Vietnam. In November last year, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
The move was seen as an effort to contain China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. The US has been pushing for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific which is seen by many countries as an effort to contain China's growing clout in the region. India is known to be reluctant in giving military shape to "Quad". Chau also made it clear that it was not his country's policy to ally with any country or bloc which may act against any country.
Asked about situation in the South China Sea, he said there was a need to ensure the "full and effective" implementation of the international code of conduct by all parties concerned to maintain peace and stability in the region. Vietnam is one of the claimants to the South China Sea, a disputed region that has been witnessing increased Chinese military presence. Besides China and Vietnam, Taiwan , the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also have overlapping territorial claims in the sea, known to be rich in hydrocarbons.
There is no objection from a third country," he said. India has asserted that ONGC's exploration is a commercial operation and not connected with the dispute. Read more on Quad. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Why India Should Be Wary of the Quad
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To see your saved stories, click on link hightlighted in bold. And now, after a decade, in which China has militarily consolidated itself in the very region that the Quad had hoped to challenge, the chimera is once again being chased. Mooted as an alliance of democracies, it seeks to upend everything we know about international relations, where the drivers are national interests, rather than values. Ordinarily this would not matter much since the Quad would largely be a talking shop with some joint naval exercises thrown in. Like it or not, or hide it or not, the term now seems to be a means of including India in the military calculations of US strategy in the Pacific.
In Manila for the ASEAN anniversary and East Asia summits, the leaders of the four countries met each other individually while their officials will convene separately as the Quad. Clearly, there is some amount of caution in not provoking a hostile response from Beijing, whose response has actually been fairly mild. The purpose of the idea, Kono said, was to seek a peaceful maritime zone from Asia to Africa. Essentially, it meant the introduction of Australia into the US-Japan-India trilateral, which has been functioning for a while.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first pushed the idea in with a view to developing a broad front to balance China shortly after first coming to power that year. When anti-Japanese demonstrations hit China in , Tokyo was shocked. It had for long assumed that Chinese animosity towards Japan for its World War II atrocities had been smoothened by the substantial economic aid that Japan had given China in the s and s, and the massive trade between the two.
But the Chinese had merely been biding their time. India was leery of the Quad the first time around, but now it says it would be ready to discuss the new terms of engagement for a revival of the proposal. This time around, the Japanese, invigourated by the victory of Abe in the recent elections, have said they would take the initiative to promote substantive cooperation between the countries in defence, maritime security and infrastructure development.
The first Quad foundered as Australia peremptorily walked out and India followed suit. This was coincidentally around the time of the economic crisis that saw Chinese economic power go up several notches and the initiation of a phase of military assertion by the Chinese across the board — in the Senkaku islands and on the Sino-Indian border. At the public level, everyone says that China is too big to be contained.
The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the ‘Quad’
But that cannot negate the nature of international politics, which is based on maximising national, rather than collective gain, and the relentless pursuit of national interest without any special regard to values and principles. There is nothing particularly sinister about this. It has taken recourse to threats and bullying at the drop of the hat. Note the manner in which it sought to browbeat Bhutan on the Doklam issue, penalised South Korea for deploying the THAAD and pushed South-East Asian nations on the basis of its nine -dash line maritime boundary, which has no basis in international law.