Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, popularly called QU, kickstarted on Tuesday with leaders from all the four-member states-India, Japan, Australia and the US, uniting in Tokyo to pledge increased cooperation. One issue that remained constant in all discussions was the spiralling influence of China and its attempts at altering the status quo in the Indo-Pacific region. While QU as a whole is being seen as a countermeasure to Bejing, all the members have been reeling with their own turbulent relations with one of the most powerful economies in the region.
India and China have had frosty relations since May 2020 when troops from both sides clashed in Galwan Valley. The fighting left at least 20 Indian and four Chinese troops dead. Since then, multiple rounds of talks have been held between both sides but occasional skirmishes continue to batter the mutual relations between both the nations. Notably, the Modi administration last year banned a variety of Chinese applications-including video sharing platforms TikTok and game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in retaliation.
The diplomatic relationship between Australia and China has plunged manifold in the past months. Both the countries have been trading barbs over a number of issues including the coronavirus probe, the Chinese claim over the South China Sea, and Economic sanctions on imports among others. Last November, military tensions between both countries escalated after Canberra announced an AUKUS partnership with Washington and London, aiming to secure help from both countries in building 12 diesel-electric submarines. In the most recent development, Beijing inked a pact with Soloman Islands, a move that alarmed the Australian administration of increased military presence in its vicinity.
While the US and China have been clashing on various issues for a long, their relationship hit rock bottom during the Trump era. The former US president publicly accused China of creating the coronavirus infection and spreading it across the globe. In recent times, both sides have been trading bars over the disputed region of Taiwan, trade and economy as well as an increasing American maritime presence in the South China Sea. In the most recent development, US President Joe Biden said that the US would defend Taiwan militarily if China attacked-a statement which the White House walked back afterwards.
Both the pacific neighbours remain at odds over several disputed islands in the East China Sea. Most pivotal amongst them are the Senkaku islands- which have been under Japanese control. Although the territorial dispute stretches back more than a century, Xi Jinping has bolstered military presence and exercises in the region, threatening Tokyo. In addendum, Tokyo has also objected to increased Chinese presence in disputed sea waters and near Taiwanese islands.