Quad is holding its meeting at a time when there is an increase in China’s military aggression in the Indo-Pacific region

In the next 24 hours, India, Japan, Australia and the US will hold their second ministerial level talks in Tokyo. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will lead the Indian delegation at the meet which is taking place at a time when there is an increase in China’s military aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.

While there has been tense standoff between India and China on the Line of Actual Control since early May, China’s aggression in the South China Sea has created a ripple in the strategic and diplomatic corridors of the world.

In the context of standoff with China on the Eastern Ladakh, the External Affairs S Jaishankar has already maintained in his interview with Rediff.com that the standoff situation with China at the Line of Actual Control is “surely the most serious situation after 1962(India-China War).

He also said that the quantum of forces currently deployed by both sides at the LAC is unprecedented. After the June 15 Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, India, underscoring the fact that India’s business with China will not be as usual, took punitive actions against Chinese apps.

Almost all Chinese mobile and internet apps were banned, while restrictions have been imposed on direct or indirect Chinese investments in infrastructure, MSME, medicine and other sectors.

Similar hard stand has been taken by Australia, Japan and the US against China. On July 23, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered a remarkable speech where he proposed the formal termination of 40 years of US policy of engagement with Beijing, which had been premised on the hope that China would change from within, as it integrated with the global economy.

“We, the freedom-loving nations of the world, must induce China to change, just as President (Richard) Nixon wanted. We must induce China to change in more creative and assertive ways because Beijing's actions threaten our people and our prosperity. We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo observed.

US Congressman Tom Tiffany on September 16 introduced a bill urging Washington to put an end to the “one China” policy, resume formal relations with Taiwan, and begin negotiations on the US-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement. In a press release, the Congressman criticised former US President Jimmy Carter for suddenly severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979, without legislative approval

In recent weeks Japan has also hardened its stance against China. After he stepped down, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine, which honours Japan's war dead. The visits by Japan's leaders to the shrine have previously been interpreted as a lack of remorse for Tokyo's militaristic past, which included invasion into China. Abe's brother, Nobuo Kishi, who is the Defence Minister in Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet, told reporters after his appointment that China's “rapid military build-up is a serious concern.”

On the other hand, Australia has announced ramping up military spending and strengthening its defence sector in order to protect its vast sea border. It has suspended extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to Beijing’s new security law in this region. On its part, China, which is Australia’s largest trade partner has imposed an 80 percent tariff on barley, launched an anti-dumping investigation of Australian wine, blocked Australian beef, arrested an Australian journalist and banned two academicians from visiting China.

In the midst of Beijing creating such an atmosphere in the region, Quad is holding its ministerial meeting as such all eyes will be on the outcome of the grouping which is viewed by China as one that has been launched with focus to contain China.