New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The leaders of India, the United States, Japan and Australia -- Narendra Modi, Joe Biden, Yoshihide Suga and Scott Morrison -- on Friday held their first-ever in-person Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) Summit at the White House and pushed for free and open Indo-Pacific region "undaunted by coercion".

"We stand for the rule of regulation, freedom of navigation and overflight, the peaceable decision of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states," said the four leaders in a joint statement. "Collectively, we recommit to selling the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in worldwide regulation and undaunted by coercion, to bolster safety and prosperity within the Indo-Pacific and past".

Quad, the 'Asian NATO' that aims to counter China

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad is a strategic dialogue between the US, India, Japan and Australia that was proposed by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. Though the four members countries aim to increase their bilateral and military ties through the Quad alliance, regional observers and experts widely view it as a response to counter the Chinese presence in the Indo-Pacific.

Through the alliance, the Quad leaders are poised to check the Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific. Due to this, China views Quad as "a bulwark against the rise of" Beijing and calls it the "Asian NATO" (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation).

"The Quad grouping was essentially established … to showcase what democracies can deliver together for both our populations and also the broader international public," said Edward Price, ex-CIA official, once.

Why Quad aims to counter China?

Since the second half of 2000s, China has been acting like a 'bully' in the Indo-Pacific and aims to expand its territorial claims. China has also formed military bases in the South China sea and is developing more artifical islands. Beijing also various territorial disputes with several southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan creating hurdles for others having trade routes in the region.

According to a report by the United Nations (UN), around 42 per cent exports and 38 per cent conducted across the world go through the Indo-Pacific and China's attempt to change the status quo in the region is a matter of concern. Therefore, the Quad countries want to check Beijing by monitoring its activities in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma