The Quad-Plus

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The Quad-Plus


Since 2013, national-security analysts from major quad country think tanks—the Heritage Foundation (USA), Vivekananda International Foundation (India), the Tokyo Foundation (through 2017), the Japan Institute of International Affairs (since 2018) and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute—have held a series of roundtable conferences called the “Quad-Plus Dialogue”. The idea was to convene expert discussions around shared strategic concerns among the four democracies - and a rotating fifth or “plus” country. The intent was to prod the governments to formally re-convene the official Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which occurred in 2017, and to inform discussions among them.

Over the six years of its existence, the partner think tanks have taken a rotating approach to hosting the conference.

  • 2013 - Canberra, Australia (hosted by ASPI)
  • 2015 - Jakarta, Indonesia (hosted by The Habibie Center)
  • 2016 - Jaipur, India (hosted by VIF)
  • 2017 - Washington, D.C. (hosted by The Heritage Foundation)
  • 2018 - Tokyo, Japan (hosted by JIAA)
  • 2019 - Sydney, Australia (hosted by ASPI)

Papers from the conferences can be found below, but one note of substance. China, given that it is such a major factor in the strategic environment, has figured prominently in the talks. It is a concern, however, that is not discussed in a vacuum. All four countries have mutual interests in areas like the freedom of the seas, the shape of regional diplomatic architecture, counter-terrorism, intelligence cooperation, and non-traditional security. These interests have been the real drivers of our private discussions. The rise of China is not the issue. The issue is the challenges it is currently presenting to many shared quad interests. We remain open to ways to engage Chinese colleagues on the findings of our discussions.

And so at its core, what the Quad is is a combination of democracies. But…what also illuminates those four parties is a sense of responsibility and willingness to uphold the responsibilities, to extend the benefits of democracy, extend the benefits of economic development, and extend the benefits of security throughout the region.

Stephen Biegun, Deputy Secretary of State

Remarks at the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum, August 2020

2019 Conference Papers

2018 Conference Papers

2017 Conference Papers

2016 Conference Papers

2015 Conference Papers

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