THE US president Donald Trump has revived Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi during his recently concluded India visit.
“Together, the Prime Minister and I are revitalising the QUAD initiative – with the US, India, Australia and Japan,” Trump said.
India, Australia, Japan and the US revived the QUAD in November 2017 as part of efforts to keep key sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
China is seeking to exert its influence in the region with its multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.
“Since I took office, we have held the first QUAD ministerial meeting, and expanded cooperation on counter-terrorism, cyber security and maritime security to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US President added.
The US and the other three countries had come together to provide humanitarian assistance after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had then suggested that they form the QUAD, which met three years later.
The meetings stopped for a decade after China formally reached out to each country to seek information on the purpose of the meetings.
The QUAD met again in 2017 and the Ministry of External Affairs said they addressed “issues of common interest” such as terrorism and “proliferation linkages impacting the region”.
The Quadrilateral met five times in 2017–2019.
China’s Belt and Road plan aims to take a greater role on the international stage by funding and building global transport and trade links in more than 60 countries.