Context:

China is hosting foreign ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries with Beijing pushing for closer economic cooperation and aligning COVID-19 recovery efforts even as it looks to push back against the recent regional outreach of the Quad grouping.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (Important International Groupings, Foreign Policies affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  2. About the ASEAN ministers meeting hosted by China
  3. What is the Quad grouping?

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia.
  • In 1967 ASEAN was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • ASEAN is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
  • Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
  • ASEAN is the 3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.
  • A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific.
  • Members of ASEAN
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
    • Philippines
    • Singapore
    • Thailand
    • Brunei
    • Vietnam
    • Laos
    • Myanmar
    • Cambodia

About the ASEAN ministers meeting hosted by China

  • Chinese officials have in recent weeks stepped up criticism of the Quad — the informal India, Australia, Japan and United States grouping — and of Washington in particular.
  • During recent visits to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, China’s Defence Minister called on both countries to reject “military alliances” — a term that some Beijing are using to describe the Quad, but a label that the group rejects.
  • China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that a vaccine passport connecting China and ASEAN countries is also being discussed.
  • According to China deepening economic cooperation, particularly following the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal, would be China’s focus.

What is the Quad grouping?

  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) also known as Quad, is an Inter-governmental security forum. It comprises of 4 countries– India, the United States, Japan and Australia. The member countries of the Quad organise summits, exchanges the information and military drills.
  • In the year 2007, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe proposed the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. The forum was joined by the Vice President of the US Dick Cheney, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale with the name Exercise Malabar.
  • India’s past experiment: Over the years, India has experimented with alliances of different kinds:
  • During World War I, some nationalists aligned with imperial Germany to set up the first Indian government-in-exile in Kabul.
  • During World War II, Subhas Chandra Bose joined forces with imperial Japan to set up a provisional government in Port Blair.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru, who unveiled and championed non-alignment, signed security treaties with Bhutan, Nepal, and Sikkim. Also, Nehru, who actively opposed American alliances in Asia, turned to the US for military support in 1962.
The "Quad" Counter to China apan India Australia U.s.

-Source: The Hindu

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