The Quad is not a security alliance: U.S. State Department

Antony Blinken had earlier said the Quad was also about strengthening maritime security to push back against aggression and coercion in the Indo-Pacific region

February 09, 2022 10:37 pm | Updated 10:37 pm IST

United States' Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he disembarks from his plane in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

United States' Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he disembarks from his plane in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

The U.S. has reiterated that the Quad is not a security alliance. On his way to a minister-level meeting in Melbourne , U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had highlighted aspects of the group comprised of India, the U.S., Australia and Japan, saying the Quad was bolstering maritime security and “pushing back against coercion” in the region.

“The Quad is becoming a powerful mechanism for delivering, helping to vaccinate a big part of the world and getting a lot of vaccines out there, strengthening maritime security to push back against aggression and coercion in the Indo-Pacific region, working together on emerging technologies and making sure that they can be used in positive ways, not negative ways, and an increasingly broad and deep agenda,” Mr Blinken said as per remarks released by the State Department.

“The Quad is not a security or military partnership.The Secretary was referring to one of many activities/platforms the Quad supports as part ofour shared approach tothe Indo-Pacific.Its purpose is to advancecooperationon key priorities in specific sectors that isconsistent withinternationallawandpromotes our sharedvaluesandunderpinspeace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hindu which had sought a clarification on the secretary’s remarks on Wednesday.

Quad countries “strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion,” the spokesperson said.

“We work to support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity through open dialogue and information sharing on a diverse set of issue areas, including MaritimeSecurity,” the spokesperson said. China’s challenges to the “rules based order” and democratic values will feature in the Quad’s agenda , the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia and Pacific, Daniel Kritenbrink told reporters last week. China has pushed back against the group, including on Wednesday, saying it reflected a “Cold War mentality.”

The Biden administration has said before – such as in September before the first in-person Quad summit in Washington DC – that the Quad is “ not a regional security alliance”.India has a policy of not joining security alliances. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, in July 2020, that India would never join alliances. The U.S. is already part of defence security alliances with the other two Quad countries - Australia and Japan.

In October, on a visit to India, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman offered a more nuanced description of the Quad, saying that the group operates in security realms that are non-military and non-defence.

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