A NATO like alliance could become a reality in the near future. The United States is looking deepen its defense ties with the countries of the Indo-Pacific region. A defense alliance with the US, India, Japan, and Australia is likely to counter the Chinese aggression in the region. The US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun spoke about the possibility.
Washington aims to work together to bulwark against the growing aggression of China. The Asia-Pacific region does not have an alliance like NATO. The attempt of Washington however depends on the mutual respect for each other interests. The aim of all these countries is however to form a structured alliance with shared values.
The comments came during an online discussion organized by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. Biegun made the comments to former US ambassador to India, Richard Verma.
The talks are already going on for Quads (Australia, India, Japan, and the US). The countries are coming together for supply chain, innovation, and technology. A further defense strengthening would be perfect for the countries. The top-level executives are expected to meet in New Delhi this fall to discuss more.
India may also invite Australia to the Malabar Exercise this year. India and the US have been participating in the Naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal since 1992. Japan joined the exercise in 2015 in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia did join the process in 2007, however, with China objecting to it, India did not send the invite again. India has mostly focused not agitating China in the past. However, things have changed drastically over the last few days.
Since, the Galwan Valley misadventure of China, India has taken a strong stand against the Communist country and its expansionism. Even though a formal invite has not been sent to Australia, but the experts believe, it will be sent pretty soon.
Biegun expressed the ultimate goal is to see Vietnam, South Korea, and New Zealand join and extend the Quad. He also expressed that there have been very cooperative meetings so far with all the four countries.
What it means for China
China had previously successfully kept India out of any of the Anti-Chinese alliance. The trade between India and China was increasing every day. The Chinese companies had the Indian market. However, right after the coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan, China made a huge mistake. In order to grab Indian territories, China, just pushed India beyond the line of tolerance.
The Indian military has since then pushed back Chinese and reclaimed many territories in the disputed Ladakh region. India has already banned 177 Chinese apps, including popular apps like TikTok and PUBG. The trade deals are being reviewed and canceled with Chinese companies. There are import duties. In a huge push to Make in India and self-reliance, India is trying to push the cheap Chinese imports away.
India has joined the like-minded countries who value and believe in democracies. Indian naval ships are in the South China Sea now. China has just made things worse for them in its opportunism and expansionism and they have only themselves to blame.