New Delhi’s decision to hold Quad’s ministerial level meeting is aimed at sending a tough message to Beijing on its expansionist designs

Foreign Ministers of India, Australia, Japan and the US will hold a meeting in New Delhi later this year, the Ministry of External Affairs revealed in a statement.

“Yes, we are looking forward to host Quad(comprising India, Australia, Japan and the US) meeting later this year and details are being worked out,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in response to a question during the weekly media briefing on September 3.

While speaking at US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Stephen Biegun, the US Deputy Secretary of State recently said a quad-ministerial level meet was being planned to take place in Delhi.

“There is going to be a meeting of the Quad, a ministerial meeting with the Quad this fall in Delhi--that’s the intention anyway--in person," the US Deputy Secretary of State said.

In 2019, for the first time, Quad had held its ministerial meeting when on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, foreign ministers of India, Australia, Japan and the US had met.

Known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the four-member group is an informal strategic forum that holds semi-regular summits and discusses regional economic and development assistance.

Shinzo Abe, who recently stepped down from Japan’s Prime Ministerial chair on the health ground, is credited as the brainchild of the Quad. His August 2007 speech titled “Confluence of the Two Seas” provided the foundation for the grouping.

Though the group has seen several ups and downs but it was in November 2017, the informal forum saw re-establishment with emphasis on maintaining rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region. Beijing sees this as a means of containing China.

However, India has decided to hold the group’s ministerial meeting in New Delhi when The tensions between India and China have also been rising since May as China has been making several attempts to alter the status-quo violating all bilateral agreements and protocols.

India is not just the only country facing aggression from China but the other countries in the Quad group are also facing the same. The relations between China and Japan are also deteriorating due to China’s policy of expansionism wherein it claims the South China Sea as part of its sovereign territory.

As far the US is concerned, President Donald Trump has many times openly accused China of spreading COVID-19 by calling it the ‘Chinese Virus.’ Many have claimed the virus to have originated in the labs of Wuhan.

As a result, the US has imposed restrictions on Chinese diplomats in the country, while Australia’s steps to impose bruising sanctions on Chinese imports and issue of travel warning on account of pandemic has deteriorated relations between the two countries. After the US, it was Australia which had called for an investigation into Covid-19’s origin.

India has also taken several steps to hit China where it hurts the most, the economy.

India has banned over 200 Chinese mobile apps, including Player Unknown Battleground (PUBG) and TikTok. Indian Railways has also cancelled Chinese investments, while power, MSME and infrastructure sectors have already debarred Chinese companies from their projects.