United we stand and Divided we fall.
QUAD is an informal security exchange formed by India, Japan, Australia and the United States as the member nations, in order to stand strongly opposed to the rising dominance of China in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. But the agreement of Quad stayed “informal” i.e. non-official since soon after the announcement China issued demarche to all the four aforementioned nations.
In the year 2020, which will be remembered in history as the ‘Year of Covid-19 Pandemic’, the 3 out of 4 members of the above mentioned Quad- India, Australia, and Japan have started the discussions for the launch of a trilateral Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) in view to reduce the dependency on China. The initiative was first proposed by Japan and other member nations seem to be in favour for its implementation.
“Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approached India and highlighted the urgent need to work on the initiative”, said the Economic Times report.
Amid the Political, Military and Trade tensions with China at the national borders, India has taken the suggestion of the Trio more seriously than our former approach of maintaining Foreign relations with countries in a fragile manner and taking careful steps with international proposals like these very cautiously.
Main Objective of the Trilateral Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI):
On 74th Indian Independence Day Hon’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted in his speech that businesses from all over the Globe have started seeing India as a probable “hub for supply chains” and we should take this opportunity as a developing country to “make in India” for our nation and the World- “Make for the World”.
The main objective of the Japan’s SCRI proposal is to make the Indian and Pacific Oceans a supply pathway for all and not just Chinese import/exports.
The aim is to someday emerge as the- “Economic Powerhouse of the World” by working in mutual agreement attracting with partner nations. They also propose the practise of foreign direct investment which ins in foreign currencies strengthening the domestic economy
India and Japan have an Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (Indo-Japan) in existence which co-operates with Japanese businesses to set up their trade in Indian markets. The trilateral agreement is like an add-on to the pillars of support and stand as united forces.
Once this treaty is officially signed among India, Japan and Australia, the agreement will be extended to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which consists of 10 other countries that form a part of the Asian Continent.
Australia’s Role in the Indo-Japan Trade Agreement:
Many eyebrows were raised – Why is Australia a part of the SCRI Trio?
In the dynamic Indo-Pacific region, Australia could enhance its trilateral engagement with India and Japan by attaining benefit of the merging of similar predetermined interests.
Congregating economic and strategic authority in the Indo-Pacific region is drawing Australia closer to its regional partners, India, Japan and Indonesia as well.
In this environment, there are actual occasions for nations to develop their political affairs with the main provincial partners. There is a load of monetary and safety motives as to why Australia is now a key member of the Quad.
As Australia engages at a closer level with India and Japan, there will be more opportunities to work with as a trio in similar small groupings than large collaborations like ASEAN, APEC and IQRA.
Since 2009, Australia and India are premeditated partners. They are now exploring further collaborations between India’s Act East policy and Australia’s vision for an open, comprehensive and flourishing Indo-Pacific trade channels.
Since 2014, Australia and Japan are Special Strategic Associates. Both the nations are dedicated to the Indo-Pacific regional paradigm and share an age-old commercial and trade investment relationship.
As this occurs, deepening institutional links between the three nations will be of immense benefit to economic, cultural and strategic interests of the World.
India-Japan Defence Ties to Get a Boost with the Virtual Summit between the PM’s of both the Nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet at the virtual summit in the month of September 2020. This will be Narendra Modi’s second virtual summit in the year 2020. First one was with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the month of June.
India and Japan have been trying to schedule a summit for quite some time now, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the plans.
However, this ‘online’ summit meeting comes in contradiction of the milieu of Chinese hostility along both country’s borders. The Japanese government is keen on exploring the prospect of shifting some Japanese manufacturing to India as part of its efforts to move manufacturing units out of China. The two leaders are also reportedly working to strengthen the Quad program in the regards to reduce its dependency on China for raw materials and other exports.
Japan has stayed a persistent partner to India.
For consideration, after the Indo-China clash in earlier months, the Japanese ambassador in favor for India, tweeted that-
“Japan opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo.”
This proposes that the oppression from China will endure to strengthen Indo-Japan ties, despite previous tensions among nations.
China being singled out? Worst nightmare coming to Reality for Beijing, says Experts.
In recent events, US Navy confirmed that it has initiated a trilateral exercise in the Pacific Ocean with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Australian Defence Force. Subsequently, the Indian Navy also gave its confirmation about US Navy joining the drills in the Indian Ocean. These measures are said to be taken to strengthen security, make the import/export more open and the recent oil spills in the oceans.
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe established a $2 billion fund for helping Japanese corporations to shift back from China, opposing its power in the supply chains.
While the US and Australia, amid the mounting transparency and security apprehensions, have arrived into the signing of a motivated contract for the formation of what’s being regarded as a ‘China free’ supply chain for export of rare earth materials.
India, with no marks of cutback at the border it shares with China, is also considering further action against China on the trade and industry front.
The coming together of the QUAD against one nation is certain to enrage China. While a predictable war remains out of question considering the Pandemic, China is feared to route to non-conventional combat strategies such as cyber-attack and economical wars.
A more open anti-China Quad and now the Trio is likely to both harm and help the group in the future. It could harm the Quad because it will add to the rage of China’s understanding that the four are a military alliance for oppressing the Chinese and that they are planning a combined war against them. This might also encourage China to join forces with Russia for the military fronts and benefits.
On a positive note, the agreement would at last have a substantial aim to be implemented in real i.e.to stand as strong opposition against China’s Supply chain dominance bully. Critics have frequently contended that the Quad mission is incoherent due to contradictory interests amongst the members. Fixing this problem and coming to consensus will be of major help for these nations to improve and synchronize their policies in order to triumph in their united goal.