Regional coalition known as the ‘Quad’, the quadrilateral formation includes Japan, India, United States and Australia. All four nations have common grounds regarding free maritime trade and security. The idea was first initiated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007 with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

According to sources, the US believes the Quad is one of the elements of its larger Indo-Pacific strategy for free trade, ahead of the expansion of China in the region, while it also thinks that the quadrilateral should eventually evolve into a ministerial-level dialogue with a strong military aspect.

Nonetheless, US understands that India for the time being, remains opposed to any militarization of the Quad, which was revived after a decade as a joint secretary-level dialogue in November 2017, with its second meeting being held in June this year. India has also made it clear that the US should not mix the Indo-Pacific with the Quad, as Asean plays a significant role in this area.

What is more, US considers Quad an opportunity for like-minded countries to share notes and collaborate on projects of mutual interest. All four countries share a vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific. Each is involved in development and economic projects as well as in promoting maritime domain awareness and maritime security.

Furthermore, there are many reasons for this quadrilateral dialogue as the security of major ports and sea routes of the Indo-Pacific plays an important role to the global seaborne trade.