Sonia-Rahul’s Congress advocates India strengthening US-led “Quad” alliance

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 July 2020, 16:30 GMT]
“Two senior Congress leaders — AM Singhvi and Deepender Hooda — advocated that India play a leading role in a more muscular Quad,” reported The Economic Times on Sunday in an article titled “Quad is shaping up as the backbone of India’s post-COVID foreign policy.” The recent India-China border standoff in Ladakh has accelerated the tendency. In the meantime, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, a former minister of state for external affairs, observed that foundations for US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) were pointing towards “a more substantive strategic shift”.

“Donald Trump’s US isn’t exactly a reliable partner. But is this a worse option than capitulating to China,” asked the senior Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor, in an opinion piece published by Gulf News on Monday.

The Economic Times article by Indrani Bagchi, a diplomatic editor of the Times of India, noted on Sunday that the prospect of Australia joining the next Malabar naval exercise with India, the US and Japan as being revived last week.

Ms Bagchi also hinted that the US might want access to Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

“So far, Japan is the only member of the Quad allowed in there. India might have to revisit this — if the US is developing Wake Island near Guam, there may be reciprocal options here in India,” she wrote.

Shashi Tharoor, in his opinion piece, noted that India was watching “China’s hand in its difficulties with other neighbours, especially Sri Lanka and Nepal”.

The push from Sonia-Rahul’s Congress must be seen along with the warning tweet of “discordant” to Modi's India from Alice G Wells, who was in charge of South Asian affairs at the US State Department until 01 June 2020.

Ms Wells warning came just a few days after Russia convened a virtual Russia-India-China (RIC) ‘strategic’ triangle meet last month.

“This is a good time for India to up its investment in the Quad. The appearance of privileging BRIC/RIC meetings over engagement with likeminded partners is discordant,” Wells tweeted.

External Links:
Gulf News: Modi’s China strategy undergoing a huge shift
The Economic Times: View: Quad is shaping up as the backbone of India's post-Covid foreign policy



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