Get the most updated and recent current affair content on


  • Be N By IAS, Delhi
  • 18, Feb 2021
Image Not Found

For : GS-2: International Relation


  • Signalling a closer alignment with other partners, India officially used the term “Quad” for the first time to describe its grouping with the
    • US,
    • Australia and
    • Japan
  • It is increasingly being seen as a possible counterweight to China‘s aggressive moves in the region.
  • This is the third meeting of Quad Foreign Ministers, after September 2019 and October 2020, since the mechanism at the level of officials was revived in 2017.


  • New Delhi underlined: India’s reference to “Quad” came in group’s Foreign Ministers where New Delhi underlined its “commitment to upholding a
    1. Rules-based international order,
    2. Respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty,
    3. Rule of law,
    4. Transparency,
    5. Freedom of navigation in the international seas and
    6. Peaceful resolution of disputes” — a line seen as a reference to China’s moves.
  • Reluctance of India using the term Quad: While the US and Australia have always termed the grouping as “Quad”, the Ministry of External Affairs instead called such interactions as a “meeting of the four countries”.
  • Shared Identity: In a statement that reflected the group’s concern over China, the MEA said that the Ministers highlighted their “shared attributes as
    • Political democracies,
    • Market economies and
    • Pluralistic societies”.
  • USA’s Biden Continued Foreign Policy: It was also significant because it was the first involving the new US administration under President Joe Biden and signalled continuity in its approach on dealing with an assertive China.


  • Continuity in Washington’s approach: With the Biden administration yet to complete even a month in office, the first Quad meeting reflects continuity in Washington’s approach towards China.
    • For Delhi, it’s a reassuring signal amid the border standoff in eastern Ladakh,
  • India-Australia: Hours before the meeting, PM Modi spoke with his Scott Morrison, and said that he looked forward to “working together for peace, prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific”.
  • ASEAN cohesion and centrality: They reiterated of their common vision for a “free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, with clear support for ASEAN cohesion and centrality”.
  • International support to Quad: “It was noted that the Indo-Pacific concept had gathered growing international support, including in Europe”, it said, referring to
    • France,
    • Germany and
    • UK.
  • Regular Meeting: “They reiterated their commitment to the Quad meeting at least annually at the Ministerial level and on a regular basis at senior and working levels.
  • Japan v. China: Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi expressed “serious concern with regard to the China’s Coast Guard Law” and said that “the four Ministers concurred to strongly oppose unilateral and forceful attempts to change the status quo in the context of the East and South China Sea”.
  • Myanmar Coup: Quad Foreign Ministers also spoke about the situation in Myanmar. While Jaishankar reiterated “upholding of rule of law and the democratic transition”, Blinken spoke about “the urgent need to restore the democratically elected government in Burma”, and Motegi “expressed grave concern for deteriorating situation” in Myanmar.
  • Covid-19 pandemic: Ministers discussed ongoing efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including vaccination programmes. They reiterated its commitment in enhancing access to affordable vaccines, medicines and medical equipment.
    • “India’s efforts at providing vaccines to 74 countries was recognized and appreciated.”
  • Other Area of Cooperation: India also said that the Ministers exchanged views on responding to climate change and furthering cooperation in areas such as
    • Maritime security,
    • HADR,
    • Supply chain resilience and
    • Counter-terrorism.

SOURCE: Indian Express