BY: William Holmes
PEJOURNAL – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s legacy as the founder of the QUAD in 2007 was supposed to bring “freedom and prosperity” to the Asia-Pacific area, which ran into problems; and the group was able to meet only once in 2007 and ended its work with a military exercise.
With the withdrawal of Australia from the group, which was done due to the improvement of its relations with Beijing, the group’s activities were interrupted for more than a decade. In 2012, Japan promoted the group’s idea as a “QUAD of democratic security” and thus challenged China’s “expansionist” behavior in the east and south of the China Sea, according to its strategy.
QUAD is the direct result of China’s miraculous progress and America’s passive and declining position.
China’s miraculous progress has left the United States in a “passive and declining position.” The decline of US power and its inability to maintain its global hegemony, in which even Beijing had no role, automatically make China a strategic threat to the United States and its allies in the Western world have created a situation that has made the components of compromise and understanding between the two powers weaker and more unlikely, and has raised serious concerns in the Biden administration in the White House.
Following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the new President of the United States, the Foreign Ministers of India, Australia and Japan immediately resumed the QUAD Group security talks, known as the QUAD, with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Their move has openly targeted China as the leader of an international criminal gang. Which could spark a new conflict in the international community. Washington intends to create a climate of pessimism against China with the aim of forcing Beijing to comply with US policies and policies in Southeast Asia, by conditionally easing pressure.
The Quadrilateral Group was re-formed in late 2017 after Trump came to power in the United States and a new round of disputes with China intensified, so with the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Manila, “the group’s common interests in the Indo-Pacific area” was put on the agenda. Trump announced an economic war with China. Under Trump, the group met several times, and last year the group members met for the first time in a joint naval exercise.
The resurgence of the G4 during Trump’s term reflected some of the deep concerns of both Republicans and Democrats about the rise of China’s power and Beijing’s confidence, but the quadruple failed to do so due to political fluctuations during the Trump era. Benefit from the status of a formal institution with a regular organizational framework and mechanisms.
The resumption of talks in the form of a Quadrilateral group under the auspices of the Covid-19 pandemic in Beijing and support for pro-democracy in Myanmar and the protests in Taiwan underscores the importance of the Quadrilateral group in escalating tensions with China during the Biden era. Make it more suitable for other countries to join this group. However, China has not been officially named in the group’s actions and statements so far, and only the Japanese Foreign Minister in a statement criticized China for passing the Coast Guard Act and expressed deep concern about this action.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry still emphasizes the desire of some European countries to join the group with the intention of building a global institution against Beijing. The fact that the group has so far failed to establish a formal structure or has deliberately delayed in doing so is largely due to the fact that it intends to continue the regional and international blackmail against China to assess the intentions of other neighboring countries with common interests. To apply for membership with the aim of expanding the membership of the group or increase the desire to join other countries.
France, which has common interests in East Africa and the Indian Ocean and has very close ties to India, has expressed interest in joining the group. This French desire reflects Japan’s special efforts as America’s number one ally in the Far East and its concern about the Chinese taking power. The membership of South Korea, New Zealand and Vietnam, as well as India, is being considered by the United States and Japan despite their close economic and trade relations and some other territorial and geopolitical considerations with China.
Biden believes in putting more pressure on China than any other US president. The White House is trying to use any political or economic organization and alliance against Beijing. Anthony Blinken’s efforts to revive the QUAD show that the group must become a political and security structure to counter China’s growing power in this important area. A policy that is supported by both major US parties and can even get Republicans in Congress to comment on other Biden administration policies.
Of course, the group’s member states, or potential future members, also have fundamental differences in views and positions on the group’s priorities and still have concerns about the nature of their relationship with China. Australia and Japan are key allies of the United States, but India has traditionally followed generally non-aligned strategies. India sees the core of its policies in the Indian Ocean, but the United States seeks the basis of its policies in East China to the Pacific. Many important issues need to be discussed before the group wants to count on India as an active and effective member. The group now knows that their goal is a long way off.
If India, a country that is inherently non-aligned, is inclined towards this group, there is a great risk that the QUAD will lose Pakistan as a traditional ally of the United States, which is the great military and nuclear power on the other side of Asia. Pakistan should also lean towards the Chinese camp to balance power.
The new ASEAN group is the most important bloc whose members are generally reluctant to choose between Beijing and Washington. Unlike Japan, South Korea is in a strategic dilemma between Washington and Beijing. If invited to full membership by the QUAD Group, it will never be able to strike a balance between the great powers, including China and the United States. This group of countries is more inclined to have an informal partnership with the QUAD Group, and within that they want to cooperate on other issues, such as the fight against the COVID pandemic or climate change and similar issues.
China, too, has been restless, seeking to form new coalitions and persuade countries in the area to cooperate with it, or at least prevent them from joining the Indo-Pacific squad. Beijing is never empty-handed to achieve this goal, as there are many large and small countries in Southeast Asia that, due to the various dependencies they have found on China, especially in the last decade, tend to be QUAD partners. Strategically, they are quite skeptical.
Until a decade ago, Beijing was more dependent on the United States and its Western allies in world trade and the free economy, so a confrontation between the two major economic powers at the level we see today seemed very unlikely. China has previously been cautious in its trade and compromise with the United States and is still willing to continue. But now the situation on the part of the Biden government has completely changed. Today, China has emerged as a full-fledged power over the United States in all economic, commercial, technological, military, and security fields.
With the introduction of a major economic and technological program called the “China-2025 Program” and the “China-2040 Program” and, in particular, the strategic and long-term global plan “One Belt, One Road” with investments of thousands of billions, the participation of more than 80 countries, it has attracted people all over the world and even in the heart of Europe.
In the new situation in East Asia and the Middle East, the agreement related to the 25-year strategic precedent of Iran and China will have a much more important political and security meaning. It is natural in this process that China reaches the Persian Gulf and the Islamic Republic, which is strongly focused on its regional and field influence, emerges from its Middle East crust in cooperation with China and undergoes very important and future-making developments in Southeast Asia.
And gets closer to China; And it can adapt to new developments in East Asia, consolidate its presence as a new player in cooperation with China, and secure its interests in future regional and transregional equations. That would be a nightmare for the United States.