Why China views Quad as the ‘Asian NATO’
- The Quad summit will be held on Tuesday, May 24
- Quad comprises US, Australia, Japan and India
- China has called Quad the ‘Asian NATO’
Quad, or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, begins on Tuesday, May 24. At a time when there is war in Europe and hunger and economic crisis in south Asia, a meeting of the leaders of India, Japan, Australia and the United States assumes immense significance. The coalition, formed to counter China’s influence on the Indo-Pacific, of course, will be under Beijing’s scanner.
China has called Quad the ‘Asian NATO’, even while Quad leaders say that the mandate of the alliance ranges beyond the China question. Prior to the first in-person Quad summit in September last year, Global Times, China’s state media mouthpiece said in an editorial that the Quad mechanism seeks to split the region and “incite various forces to oppose China.”
The editorial went on to say: “The purpose of the Quad mechanism is to ‘encircle China.’ Its geographic situation gives a sense of comfort to the political elites of the four countries. It remains vague as to what to be encircled about China. Every element contains a great deal of imagination. As a result, the agenda of Quad is rather distorted and full of paranoid extensions, like argots which are ambiguous but can be understood by conjecture.”
Japan and India are two nations locked in territorial strife with China. The Senkaku Islands in East China Sea are claimed by both Japan and China and are a cause of immense regional tension. United States’ President Joe Biden, in a meeting with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, said that the US was committed to ensuring Japan’s security. For India, there has been continuing tension with China over the country’s land borders.
Beijing’s accusation of calling Quad the Asian NATO assumes greater significance amid the Russia-Ukraine war. The rising influence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in eastern Europe, is among the central reasons for Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. As such, China’s view of Quad as the Asian NATO has far-reaching geopolitical implications.
When Russia attacked Ukraine and China remained steadfast in not condemning Moscow’s actions, Taiwan grew jittery. The semiconductor hub of the world felt that it too might face Ukraine’s fate. On Monday, US President Joe Biden said that China does not have the “jurisdiction to take China by force.”
“We agree with the One-China policy, we signed onto it and all the attendant agreements made from there. But the idea that it could be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not – it’s just not appropriate. It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.”
While China is yet to make an official statement on Biden’s comment, in a recent call with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Yang Jiechi, Beijing’s top diplomat said, “If the US side insists on playing the Taiwan card and goes further and further down the wrong road, it will certainly lead to a dangerous situation.”