International Dialogue for Countering China Gains New Relevance After Years of Heritage’s Support

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International Dialogue for Countering China Gains New Relevance After Years of Heritage’s Support

April 6th, 2021

Heritage has been a major proponent of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (also known as the Quad), a strategic partnership between the United States, Japan, Australia, and India.

Recognizing the dangers posed by an increasingly powerful and aggressive China, The Heritage Foundation has spearheaded efforts to organize international efforts to manage those risks.  

As part of that effort, Heritage has been a major proponent of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (also known as the Quad), a strategic partnership initially formed in the late 2000s between the United States, India, Japan, and Australia to promote common strategic objectives and policy goals.  

The dialogue became moribund for almost a decade, but Heritage never stopped promoting the idea. In a September 2013 commentary, Walter Lohman, director of Heritage’s Asian Studies Center, urged the Obama administration to deepen bonds with the Quad countries and push for a concerted and clear condemnation of China’s bad behavior. 

Heritage lead by example. Since 2013, Heritage has partnered with quad-country think tanks, including Vivekananda International Foundation, the Tokyo Foundation, the Japan Institute of International Affairs, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, to co-host an annual series of roundtable conferences called the “Quad-Plus Dialogues.” 

The dialogues convened leading national security experts to discuss strategic concerns shared by the four democracies, as well as a rotating fifth or “plus” country. The intent was to prod the governments to formally re-convene the official Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. 

Those efforts bore fruit during the 2017 ASEAN Summits, when former president Donald Trump, along with his contemporaries in India, Japan, and Australia agreed to revive the government meetings to collaborate on ways to counter Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.   

The Biden administration is continuing and extending American involvement in the Quad. In February, the administration called a virtual summit meeting of Quad country diplomats—and arranged for a first-ever meeting of the four presidents and prime ministers—to discuss coordinating strategies for improving regional security, as well as dealing with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also agreed to meet in person toward the end of the year.  

For more information on Heritage’s efforts in support of the Quad, click here.