RIETI Report December 24 2021

The Quad's Geo-Economic and Geostrategic Implications

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This bi-weekly newsletter will keep you updated with the recent columns, event information and research results by RIETI fellows and other leading economists in Japan and around the world.

In this edition, we introduce the important role the Quad is playing to bring about geo-economic change, although its geostrategic aspects are grabbing more attention.
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Editors of RIETI Report (Facebook: @en.RIETI / Twitter: @RIETIenglish / URL: https://www.rieti.go.jp/en/)

This month's featured article

The Quad's Geo-Economic and Geostrategic Implications

Brahma CHELLANEYProfessor of Strategic Studies, Center for Policy Research

At a time when there is a life-and-death conflict between two systems of governance — repressive and democratic — a loose strategic coalition of the Indo-Pacific region's four leading democracies, the Quad, is rapidly solidifying. Comprised of Australia, India, Japan and the United States, the Quad has received a lot of international attention, largely because of the promise it holds toward underpinning the power equilibrium in the Indo-Pacific. In fact, the increasing use of the term "Indo-Pacific" — which refers to all countries bordering the Indian and Pacific oceans — rather than the traditional term "Asia-Pacific," underscores the maritime dimension of today's challenges. Asia's oceans have increasingly become an arena of competition for resources and influence. It now seems likely that future regional crises will be triggered and settled at sea.

As is apparent from the websites of the White House and the foreign ministries of its four member-states, the Quad's official name is the Quad, not "Quadrilateral Security Dialogue," as some publications keep calling it on first reference. The Quad's origins date back to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that devastated large parts of Asia, killing hundreds of thousands across Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. The four countries joined hands to coordinate disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. The idea of formalizing a Quad emerged from that humanitarian initiative.

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