By: Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami
If the People’s Republic of China was spewing venom even before the first virtual meeting of the Quad leaders got under way, the reasons were not too hard to fathom. Finally it must have dawned on the leadership in Beijing that the top hitters in the region like the United States, India, Japan and Australia are getting their acts together to come to terms with a country that believes it can literally get away with anything by putting on an aura of belligerence.
But when President Joseph Biden and Prime Ministers Narendra Modi, Yoshihide Suga and Scott Morrison finally met, they did indeed discuss a range of issues pertaining to the vast region of the Indo Pacific that included the pandemic, economics and the need to play by international rules. None of the individual read outs singled out China in any fashion; but indirect references were there.
The Quadilateral or simply referred to as the Quad had in the past been derisively dismissed by China as nothing more than an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation only that this group had as its aim to contain and deter China.