No Avoiding China through the Quad

Built as a multi-layered alliance hosted by President Joe Biden, the association of leaders from Japan, America, Australia and India known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is just one link in a fence meant to stop China’s growth. Should America close itself off completely from China, though?

In their first in-person meeting, the leaders of each country released a joint statement, declaring “Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” in a message crafted with China in mind. The fact that the Quad includes Narendra Modi, prime minister of the traditionally neutral India, holds significant meaning that surely hasn’t been lost on the other three nations.

Not even two weeks ago, America, the U.K. and Australia laid the framework for a security pact known as AUKUS. While the Quad focuses on a wide variety of subjects such as the economy, climate and technology, AUKUS is centered more on military and security issues, primarily against China. In his pursuit of rebuilding alliances, however, Biden greatly angered France, whose deal to sell submarines to Australia was scrapped due to the formation of AUKUS. Added to his obstinance in withdrawing from Afghanistan, his creating such distrust with his allies has been judged as being no different from his predecessor, President Donald Trump.

So how can we believe Biden when he says he wants to rebuild America’s alliances? America must regain lost trust through comprehensive talks and devote itself to comprehensive diplomacy.

During a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Biden stated, “We are not seeking a new cold war or a world divided into rigid blocs.” However, as cooperation with more democratic nations is promoted, the divide with countries such as Russia and China widens.

With global issues such as COVID-19 and climate change, international unity is key. The United States and China are each in a position to work together and lead the world on these issues. One can’t help but worry that breeding this mutual distrust is just asking for an inevitable collision, though. To ensure that never happens, leaders from both countries must create an environment where issues can be settled through dialogue.

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