India and the Quad 2.0


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When: Sep 27 2018 - 12:00pm until Sep 27 2018 - 1:30pm
Where: 1819 L St NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036

India and the Quad 2.0

An Indo-Pacific Foreign Policy and Defense Seminar featuring:

Dr. Jagannath P. Panda
Research Fellow & Centre Head, East Asia
Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi

Dr. Satu Limaye (Moderator)
Director, East-West Center in Washington

India’s approach to the Quadrilateral consultative forum, which comprises Australia, India, Japan and the United Dr. Jagannath PandaStates, is a statement of New Delhi’s plural foreign policy arch in an evolving Indo-Pacific construct. Balancing China’s growing outreach with consultation of the Quad countries while concurrently firming bilateralism with Beijing explains India’s strategic autonomy and pluralism in its foreign policy. Alignment to the Quad proposition does not necessarily however suggest that India essentially wants to engage in a China-containment strategy in Indo-Pacific construct. Rather, India’s alignment is a strategic arch and the act of firming New Delhi’s outreach in a liberal-order framework with the Quad countries. It is a measured strategic choice to position Indian interest better in an alternative discourse led by China in the Indo-Pacific region. The principal intent for India is the desire to protect its maritime interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The Indian endorsement of Quad 2.0 has led to a debate of whether India has abandoned its tradition of non-aligned foreign policy to embrace a strategic formulation like the Quad, which endorses a US-led liberal order. India certainly foresees Quad 2.0 as a strategic pivot against China, but its perspective is more open and opaque than it appears to be. The puzzling element in this regard is New Delhi’s changing relationship discourse with China as an immediate neighbor, both within and outside the Indo-Pacific region. The India-China relationship has improved and has become much more institutionalized from 2004 onwards – about the same time around the commencement of the Quad. India too, has been simultaneously increasing its association with the other Quad countries, bilaterally, trilaterally and multilaterally. However, Beijing’s emergence as a stronger “maritime power” has endangered the Quad members’ strategic interests. The prime context behind Quad 2.0 is Beijing’s Maritime Silk Road (MSR), which is an integral part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) under Xi Jinping.

The competing India-China strategic interests in securing energy resources, protecting maritime interests and promoting national interests are bound to collide, coupled with the age-old boundary dispute. India’s pluralistic foreign policy under Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping’s “new era” foreign policy has manifested that their national trajectory has a characteristic of being obstructionist towards each other’s rise in Asia and the world at large. However, for India, the relationship with China is the most imperative component of its plural and non-aligned foreign policy that promotes strategic autonomy. The India-China relationship is currently taking on a defining structure in the Indo-Pacific construct, and New Delhi is more inclined to nurture it than repudiate it. Therefore, India’s approach to the Quad would not be based on an anti-China proposition.

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 

Dr. Jagannath P. Panda is a Research Fellow and Centre Head for East Asia at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, India. He is an expert on China, East Asia, Korean peninsula and Indo-Pacific security. He is also the Series Editor for “Routledge Studies on Think Asia”. Dr. Panda is in charge of East Asia Centre’s academic and administrative activities, including the Track-II and Track 1.5 dialogues with the Chinese, Japanese and Korean think-tanks/institutes. He is a recipient of V. K. Krishna Menon Memorial Gold Medal (2000) from the Indian Society of International Law & Diplomacy in New Delhi. Dr. Panda is the author of the book India-China Relations: Politics of Resources, Identity and Authority in a Multipolar World Order (Routledge: 2017). He is also the author of the book China’s Path to Power: Party, Military and the Politics of State Transition (Pentagon Press: 2010). He has been a visiting fellow at many institutes and universities in the USA, Sweden, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. Dr. Panda is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Asian Public Policy (Routledge). Dr. Panda has published in leading peer-reviewed journals like Journal of Asian Public Policy (Routledge), Journal of Asian and African Studies (Sage), Asian Perspective (Lynne Reiner), Journal of Contemporary China (Routledge), Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs (Georgetown), Strategic Analyses (Routledge), China Report (Sage), Indian Foreign Affairs Journal (MD Publication), Portuguese Journal of International Affairs (Euro Press) etc.

Dr. Satu Limaye is Director of the East West Center in Washington where he also directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and edits the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also Senior Advisor at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). Earlier, Dr. Limaye served on the research staff of the Strategy, Forces & Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and Director of Research & Publications at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies. He publishes and speaks widely on Asia-Pacific regional issues and supports various foundation, fellowship and professional organizations. He is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
Phone: 2023279755