My article, “Balancing Act”, was subtitled “Making Sense of the Quad” and it was intended to do just that. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue involving India, Japan, Australia and the United States has often been misunderstood – sometimes wilfully, as with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s early 2018 claim that it was a passing fad which, along with the notion of the Indo-Pacific, would “dissipate like ocean foam”. Well, here we are, three years on, and the idea of cooperation among Indo-Pacific partners to balance Chinese power, typified by the Quad, is going strong.
The foreign policy debate in Australia has come a long way in recent years, and recognition of the Quad’s relevance and durability has fast become mainstream. It is good to see two of the nation’s leading specialists on Japan and India, Professor Rikki Kersten and Dr Pradeep Taneja, complement my analysis with their fine-tuned explanations of why the Quad makes particular sense for those countries.