Ahead of third ‘Quad’ security dialogue on Thursday, United States’ Pentagon Press Secretary called India a “critical partner” especially while considering all challenges surrounding the Indo-Pacific region. In a news conference, John Kirby noted the significance of India’s participation after US State Department spokesperson Ned Price announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterparts from Japan, Australia and India will interact virtually to elevate cooperation.
Brainchild of then Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) was launched in 2007 with an aim to convene partners to balance rising China. As per reports, while India and Australia had initially been cautious over antagonizing China, the Quad format, over the years has not only expanded but the relations with Beijing of both nations have deteriorated over a range of issues.
"India is a critical partner, especially when you consider all of the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday. Price had previously said that “these discussions with the Quad foreign ministers is critical to advancing our shared goals of a free and open Indo-Pacific and rising to the defining challenges of our times.”
US on February 9 described the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) as a “key example” of Washington working with its “closest partners” for the good of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. While speaking at the daily news briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price had said that Quad is the key example of the US and added that Washington views the grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the US as having “essential momentum” and “important potential” to deepen engagement on areas of “tradition focus” and to “confront defining issues of our time”.
Price said, “What I would say generally is that the Quad is a key example of the United States and our closest partners, including, in this case, India, pulling together for the good of a free and open Indo-Pacific region”.
In November 2020, the Quad nations held a four-way naval exercised in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Australia participated for the first time in more than a decade. Further, since Biden administration has made it evident that it would renew the 'Quad' alliance, China's state-run Global Times earlier this month warned US President that renewing the Quad would be a "serious strategic blunder". China also said that Biden might trigger "a severe strategic confrontation" with Beijing by trying to hinder its dominance