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Quad and globalization       

  • 27 October, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

Quad and globalization       

Context: Quad is a topic important for MAINS and Personality test – Political science optional

"Can QUAD preserve the essence of GLOBALISATION when CHINA aggressively pursuing the policy of ONE china"

United States, Australia, India, and Japan established a joint regional infrastructure plan “QUAD” to counter China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This plan is not a “rival” but an “alternative” to the BRI, it reflects these countries’ dilemma in how to deal with what they perceive as “the China threat.”

What is QUAD?

QUAD is an informal strategic grouping among above 4 countries for peaceful coexistence and free, open and prosperousINDO-PACIFIC. First time mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence especially CHINA.

Capitalisation Vs. Globalisation – QUAD role 

This offers a middle path between the extremes of technological sovereignty and laissez-faire globalisation.

How CHINA dominates?

  • An asymmetric globalisation favouring China allowed Beijing to attain power. It is now using that power to undermine liberal democratic values around the world.
  • The Chinese market was never open to foreign companies in the way foreign markets are to Chinese firms.
  • This is particularly true in the information and communications technology sector. Meanwhile, Chinese firms rode on the globalisation bandwagon to secure significant market shares in open economies.
  • President Xi Jinping now formally requires Chinese firms to follow the political agenda of the Chinese Communist Party. But even before this, it was not possible to tell where private ownership ended and the party-state began.
  • We are currently witnessing a global retreat from the free movement of goods, services, capital, people and ideas.
  • But this should not be understood as a reaction to globalisation itself, but of its skewed pattern over the past four decades.

How Quad’s can solve this delimma?

  • The Quad countries – Japan, India, Australia and the U.S. – have an opportunity to stop seeing engagement with China through the misleading prism of free trade and globalization.
  • The roots of every countrie’s prosperity and power lie in international trade. It will be to their advantage to create a new form of economic cooperation consistent with their geopolitical interests.
  • Indeed, without an economic programme, the Quad’s geopolitical and security agenda stand on tenuous foundations.
  • The popular backlash against China is pushing Quad governments towards policies of self-reliance.
  • While reorienting and de-risking global supply chains are one thing, pursuing technological sovereignty is inherently self-defeating. When it comes to critical and emerging technologies, no single country can replicate the combined genius of the world. Worse, inward-looking policies often acquire a life of their own and contribute to geopolitical marginalization.

Advantage of QUAD?

  • A convergence of values and geopolitical interests means Quad countries are uniquely placed to envelop their economies inside bubbles of trust, starting with the technology sector.
  • Complementarities in capabilities can power innovation and growth.
      • The U.S. is a global leader in intellectual property,
      • Japan in high-value manufacturing,
      • Australia in advanced niches such as quantum computing and cyber security, and
      • India in human capital.

This configuration of values, interests and complementary capabilities offers unrivalled opportunities.

What is bubble of trust?

  • The idea of ‘bubbles of trust’ offers a cautious middle path between the extremes of technological sovereignty and laissez-faire globalization.
  • Unlike trading blocs, which tend to be insular, bubbles tend to expand organically, attracting new partners that share values, interests and economic complementarities. Such expansion will be necessary, as the Quad cannot fulfil its strategic ambitions merely by holding a defensive line against authoritarian power.
  • The Quad’s Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group is well placed to develop the necessary ‘bubbles of trust’ framework, which could be adopted at the next Quad summit.
  • Such a framework would allow the scope of the cooperation to be limited to information industries avoiding the long and complex negotiations typical of trade agreements.

Way FORWARD!!

For the SUCCESS of the quad group there has been the need:

  1. strengthen geopolitical convergences,
  2. increase faith in each member state’s judicial systems,
  3. deepen economic ties and
  4. boost trust in one another’s citizens.

Conclusion

There are fundamental differences between authoritarian and liberal-democratic approaches to the information age. But there is no consensus among the latter. The Quad cannot allow differences of approach on privacy, data governance and the digital economy to widen. This agenda cannot be about substituting China. Rather, the approach would allow Quad countries to manage their dependencies on China while simultaneously developing a new vision for the global economy.

Source: THE Hindu

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