Aussie-think on Quad

Image result for pics of julia bishop releasing the foreign policy white paper

(Julie Bishop Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade at the release of the White Paper)

Spent a good part of the past week in Sydney and that part of New South Wales, doing touristy stuff — and being a good Vedic Hindu, eating beef steaks. But couldn’t ignore the political hub-hub in the country created by the release of the Malcolm Turnbull-led Liberal Party government’s Foreign Policy White Paper — the first update in 14 years. It is a hefty read, but a quick glance through it revealed five things to me. That  Canberra (1) clearly espies the security threat posed by Xi’s China — a scary, fast moving aggrandizing giant of a nation, especially to the  Indo- and eastern Pacific (meaning the Asian rim) parts, including Australia, of the Indo-Pacific (the new nomenclature for Asia- Pacific), (2) fears economic coercion and political interference in the internal affairs of the smaller states by a Beijing determined on having its way, (3) but is reconciled to increasing trade with,and seeking more investment in the extractive/mining and infrastructure sectors from, China because otherwise the country’s economic prospects arebleak, (4) is mindful of the imminent need to shore up Australia’s military capability but, owing to the limitation of its own resources, (5) will have to try and pool its capabilities and resources principally with Japan and India, and the United States and otherwise shore up the quadrilateral to take on the would-be Asian hegemon.

What’s apparent is the tension between how much to economically canoodle with the Chinese and the degree to which to militarily oppose it collectively with other nations, the only way to contain China. It is a dilemma all Asian states face because they all have strong economic/trade/investment ties with China but feel equally insecure with it around. It will centrally animate the Quad, with each of its members working out their individual solutions and Beijing doing its damndest to prevent solidarity by offering  separate sweet-heart deals with each of them — its ASEAN strategy now enlarged.  What’s  also palpable is the concern with how Trump’s America will behave.

To-date Washington has been a pussycat. During the 2016 presidential elections campaign Trump promised that on day one in the White House he’d declare China a “currency manipulator” — a serious charge that would have automatically tripped a whole range of punitive countermeasures. A year later none of this has come to pass. Instead, we have Trump’s grand daughter, Ivanka’s child, serenading the Xi’s in Mar-e-Lago during the latters’ visit with a poem in Mandarin, and regaling them when the US President was in Beijing recently, with a videoed performance of a song again in Mandarin, which Xi promptly hailed as by “a Number One pop star”. Are the Trumps then preparing for a world 50 years hence when Mandarin will displace English as the universal lingua franca?  And, what does that say about the US’ reliability as “strategic partner”for India?

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in asia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific, Asian geopolitics, Australia, China, China military, Culture, Decision-making, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Ocean, MEA/foreign policy, South Asia, South East Asia, Strategic Relations with South East Asia & Far East, Strategic Relations with the US & West, United States, US., Weapons, Western militaries. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Aussie-think on Quad

  1. Please consider reading this for the vedic Hindu comment. We all want to be well informed about facts.
    The stories about vedic cow killings are false mostly result of bad translation deliberate or otherwise.

    If only Indians took our vedic heritage seriously we would have been talking of Sanskrit as lingua franca like it once was not Manderin, which itself is a distortion on Mantri (Sanskrit).—violence-against-animals-meet-eating-etc

    • S3 says:

      Nonsense is superior for organising people than the truth. Anyone can believe the truth. To believe in nonsense requires loyalty. Come up with better nonsense.

      • Try eating Dog meat in the west. US bahadur will fine you $10000 just for bringing in a dog/cat leather belt from China/Korea.

        Cultural truths sound nonsense to people cut off from their roots.

        The point here is that you cant build a nation in vacuum minus its values. The nation you intend to protect is worth protection only for its values.

      • S3 says:

        Tu Youyou got the Nobel Prize in medicine for extracting an anti-malarial compound from a traditional Chinese treatment. Is there a program looking for similar results from traditional Indian medicine? If there isn’t, what should I conclude?

    • well was he Islamophobic in eating Pork over there ? Or is he not that Secular ?

  2. Shaurya says:

    The primary issues I see with the quad from a military view point is even when it comes to a fight, PLAN will be fighting as a single unit as opposed to multiple units with their own motivations and interests. We should not assume that China will not form its ow set of alliances in the Asia-Pacific or that it will repeat the mistakes of the axis powers of the past.

    The other thing at the strategic end is except for India, the other power have a formal alliance treaty with the US. Was wondering why is Korea not part of this as the fifth or even Taiwan as the sixth member? I think the answer to that lies is historical and tribal relationships. Beijing had 8 countries in Asia identified as the claws of the crab. The crab being the US. One claw is certainly hacked, philippines.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If there is ANY advice for India then listen to what Bharat has been saying. Build your own MIC, if we do not do that, another form of colonial existence (in new ways) is inevitable.

  3. Kya says:

    ” Are the Trumps then preparing for a world 50 years hence when Mandarin will displace English as the universal lingua franca?”
    What us wrong with that? Pirate turned shopkerprs race could impose their ritten language english by force furst on wales and scotland and later on colonies.
    Better that people soeak other international kanguage.
    After all farsi was universal language for 509 years once.

  4. Kya says:

    ” sadly what i hoped that india would not repeat the folly of fighting on behalf of anglosaxon pirate oppresdors has come to india is actively suppirting anglo parasites of 5 evil eyes to fight with a felliw asian country.
    West has more respect for china then for india but will use stupid india as a patsy.
    What i write in 2014 still stands.


    I have been saying for long that rearmament programme of Russia till 2020 is too slow and that anglos will strike before that to dismantle Russia. not only that, russia herself has been too weakling and accommodating to west so much that it betrayed her potential allies in Iran, Syria and Libya to please her anglo enemies. Those allies would have occupied russia’s enemies while Rus rearms herself-but no, the idiot lavrov the foreign minster being a weakling and possible western stooge has been too considerate to the western enemies of Rus.
    Even in Syria what has Russ done except disarming her ally Syria of her chemical weapons/ the usa still arms the terrorists while Rus has not even given –s300 to Syria let alone s-400. This shows the attitude of Rus who does not like to be respected but simply loved by the anglos enemies who are out to destroy that country by any means for last 200 years.
    World wars first and second was plotted and started by the English to destroy both Russ and Germany and this world war 3 has been running since Iraq war in 2003 –only the victims Russia, china and India do not know about it..

  5. Kya says:

    The worse fears of USA-UK-Saudi cabal is an economic alliance of Germany with Russia. It has a potential to change world order.
    The other shoe would be alliance of China and India in Asia.
    That is why anglos controlled English media in these countries encourage rift amongst these nations .
    The Europeans seem to have forgotten that capitalism is not a European tradition, but an Anglo ideology. They have forgotten that while the north of Europe fell under the influence of Reformed/Protestant Christianity
    the culture and traditions of rest of Europe were shaped by Latin Christianity, with a much deeper sense of social justice, equality and community.


    Remember what the rating agency CEO’s said under oath in Congress describing their AAA ratings given to home mortgages given out to unemployed drunks and drug addicts. “Our ratings are simply our opinions”. Do you really think Putin cares what these bribed morons rate his country?
    FUNNY how these agencies are told by their shadow masters to downgrade a nation that does not bend over to their lust for blood and whims , and at the same time RUSSIA is downgraded after the UKRAINIAN CRISIS bloody obvious .
    The U.S. is still rated at AA+. Anyone who is not completely illusional, nuts and crazy understands that the trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. owes will never be paid. The whole Fiat currency and credit scam is just that, a scam run by evil people to enslave the world.

  6. Kya says:

    “The Agni has to have a minimum range of 10,000 kms to be considered an ICBM. But why did the DRDO not publicise the missile’s full capability?
    The reason was to mollify the Manmohan Singh government that has always been fearful of spooking the US. Washington has insisted that India restrict its missile capacity to cover China without tripping into the ICBM range lest that leads to India being perceived as a threat, resulting in American counter-measures. While the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government’s minister for external affairs (MEA), Jaswant Singh, denies he had cut any deal during his 19 rounds of “strategic dialogue” with Strobe Talbott, former US President Bill Clinton’s deputy secretary of state, in early 2000 to cap Indian missile capability at the IRBM level, the Congress coalition government has adhered to this restriction, which is reflected in the DRDO’s programmatic thrust.
    this game of pleasing americans by restricting Indian defense capability so that America grants a few more visa and green card to Indians ,has been going on for years under traitors inside and by nRIs outside. The Manmohan Singh government, because of pressure from NATO member countries, has kept a slow pace with their Integrated Guided Missile Programme (IGMP).

    “The Agni-V is deemed to be in its final stage, whereas in fact the IGMP ought to have progressed to develop a range of 9,000 km,” it said in the write-up posted on its web edition tonight.

    Commenting on Sino-India relations, the paper pointed to an international effort to portray India and China as enemies and said the two countries need to make bridges of friendship that would fail such an effort.

    “Although there is an international effort to paint India and China as enemies and to make two countries go to war with each other, such an effort will fail.

    “The Chinese and Indian people share a long history and culture, and what is needed is more discussion between the two about their economics, education, tourism and culture. We must create so many bridges of friendship that the plans of other countries to make China and India into enemies will fail,” it said.

    The paper said India and China can together make the Asian continent strong but if divided ‘all of Asia will remain weak’.
    Look at India’s behaviour
    It wants to be part of BRICs but want American help in curbing china. While Bricks the thing which America wants to wreck the Indians are Trojan horse inside BRICS and want to enter SCO too to act as American servant ! What a slimy nation is that-and those stupid Indians think they are clever ! Chanikyaan (Machiavellian ) they say. My hoot! Indians don’t realise how much fool they make of themselves by such acts
    When you are not strong then one thing which gives you protection and power is morality. The strong can dispense with morality but not the weak.
    In last ten years weak India has completely dispensed with morality and thus lost any moral high ground in the eyes of the whole world. When time comes Indian will be exposed naked devoid of moral power or military power -all done to please angloamericans
    Besides so called propaganda about personal friendship-the nations don’t interact on personal friendship and chemistry-they act on long term trend and their own self interests . curbing your own military power (nuke and Agni range ) is not how nation can make herself strong. –money flows from the power and not vice versa.
    The reason bankrupt usa is still dominating with her dollars is because she carries bigger gun (to enforce others to accept petrodollar ) and big printing machine to make those bogus dollar bills. Power flows from the barrel of gun-as chairman Mao said so eloquently but only uk/usa prove that by their actions.

    • andy says:

      Dear Mr.Kya,
      Your communist raving and ranting does not compell me to join issue with you,but your repeated transgression of painting all Indians with the same brush,and calling them by unspeakable names is a bit too much for one to stomach.Just because Bharat gives a long leash to rogues like yourself to air their so called views please don’t take his hospitality for granted.

      Plus your writing,just like your views is incoherent,kindly use a language correction app before commenting.

  7. andy says:

    Arre bhai,Bharat only had buffalo/bullock whats the issue?See the beauty and the only reason Sanatan Dharam has survived in spite of unceasing onslaught over the past millennia is its is its flexibility,in the sense that that there is no rigidity of belief,no dictat or prophet or even God to follow.When Shri Krishna gave gyan to Arjun he was God but all he got was a whole lot of questions in return.Thats how we Indians are we even question our Gods and its allowed,because India has always been a land of seekers never blind followers.Lets be proud of our heritage,rather than trying to ape other faiths where everything is hard and rule bound otherwise you are an apostate.

  8. sanman says:

    Mr Karnad,
    Regarding the China-Maldives issue, I think that instead of doing our own overt gunboat diplomacy/intervention and getting pilloried for it internationally, I think we should simply hire a bunch of mercenaries to do it for us. After effecting the regime change, any and all residual Chinese presence must be ejected from there. Hell, just hire ex-LTTE people, as they’re good at island/marine warfare.
    Furthermore, we should flex our quads, and insist that US, Australia & Japan back us on any effort to eject China from Maldives. If the Quad is to mean anything, then Maldives would be a good litmus test to see if it does. Otherwise, if the other Quad members can’t support us on a tiny piddling country like Maldives, then how could we expect them to support us on larger matters presenting greater challenges?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.