Tokyo ahead: Quad’s moment in the sun arrives

The major takeaway from the Quad Summit in Tokyo will be the formal launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) by US President Joe Biden, with the other Quad countries.


New Delhi: China and Russia will be the twin elephants in the room when the leaders of the United States, India, Japan and Australia gather in the Japanese capital on 24 May for their second in-person summit. The fourth Quad summit will be taking place at a conflicted moment in world politics when the international order is being assailed and challenged from South China Sea to South Pacific islands and from Ukraine to Myanmar, making uncertainty the only certainty in the world today.
For the four-nation grouping, it will be a time for stock-taking as well as looking ahead as they pool in their collective strength to shape a rules-based international order, “undaunted by coercion,” and unveil a new paradigm of how democracies can deliver global public good more effectively. The summit is expected to culminate in a concrete roadmap that will help cement a free, open and inclusive world order, configured by collective global aspirations for peace and stability.
In the recent years, Quad’s progress has been nothing short of dramatic. The grouping nearly died over a decade ago in the face of Chinese pressure tactics, but its quiet resurrection in 2017 in Manila with a meeting of senior officials of the four countries set in process a chain of events which has led to the Quad’s current moment under the sun. In a short-span of over a year, this quartet of liberal democracies, spanning three continents, has scripted a transformative agenda built around vaccines, supply chains, cyber security and emerging technologies. By building on the outcomes of the last three summits—two virtual and one in-person (Washington)—the Tokyo meeting of the leaders is expected to deepen the economic and geopolitical content of the grouping.
On the geopolitical front, the Ukraine crisis will be a contentious issue, especially in view of India’s assertion of its strategic autonomy vis-à-vis its special relations with Russia. There will be renewed pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi…