May 14, 2021

In its hour of need, Quad members stand with India

By Lisa Curtis

As China gains ground in a global competition across the military, economic, diplomatic, and technological domains, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) made up of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States (US) is finally finding its footing. The extent to which Quad countries can collaborate across all four domains will determine whether China’s designs on the Indo-Pacific will succeed.

However, the first order of Quad business is assisting India as it grapples with a ferocious second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. India’s priority is taking care of its sick and getting its population vaccinated as soon as possible. Quad countries — and all of India’s friends — should do what they can to help India in its time of need.

The extent to which Quad countries can collaborate across all four domains will determine whether China’s designs on the Indo-Pacific will succeed.

While the US was slow to offer needed materials for vaccine production, it has since come through and is providing those items plus oxygen, therapeutics, testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other aid. More importantly, Washington has also decided it will support India’s calls to temporarily lift patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines. The move could be a game-changer for India’s vaccination campaign.

Japan, for its part, has provided an initial batch of oxygen concentrators and ventilators and pledged $50 million in grant aid. Australia has announced a support package for India, although Prime Minister (PM) Scott Morrison’s banning of Australian citizens from returning home from India has created a backlash in India and among human rights groups.

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