A statement which points to India’s growing stature in the region under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Japanese Deputy Defence Minister Yasuhide Nakayama on Friday described India as “Asia’s gravity point”, and called New Delhi to “commit more” towards the Quadrilateral coalition or Quad that has become the major focal point of the new world order.
“I personally know India’s position and I personally request India to commit more to protect the free and open Indo Pacific region. We want a strong India. India is Asia’s gravity point and is very important….We love India and we want more commitment from India towards the Quad,” said Yasuhide Nakayama in an interview to WION.
Nakayama said Japan, India, United States and Australia understand the importance of a democratic system and a free and open Indo-Pacific and hoped that the Quad will emerge as a more important grouping in the future.
India transforms Quad into a Military alliance
The QUAD which had always been an informal alliance and a fence-sitter, quietly metamorphosed into a military alliance this year after China’s cauldron of misdoings reached its brim. The Coronavirus pandemic was the tipping point that brought the dormant Quad together.
The alliance and its goals were only bolstered by China’s belligerence and its abhorrent wolf warrior diplomacy. When India invited Australia to its annual Malabar Exercise in the Arabian Sea, all doubts regarding the seriousness of the endeavor were blown into smokes.
The navies of the countries participated in the Malabar exercise in November and sent a stern message to China that its nine-dash line, the string of pearl theory, and every other nonsensical boundary dominating theory would be sent for a toss if it tried to rile up the Quad.
PM Modi’s soft diplomacy to woo Asia
As reported by TFI recently, PM Modi was subtly using the teachings of Buddha, as well, to bring countries together in the region by consciously making them decouple from China. Building upon his Act East policy, the PM on Tuesday virtually addressed the sixth Indo-Japan SAMVAD Conference and announced the creation of a Buddhist library that will bring closer the followers of Gautama Buddha and Buddhism under one roof.
During last month’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) virtual meeting of the heads of governments, India being the host, took the opportunity to highlight the common Buddhist heritage. With China in the meeting as well, India’s move might not have gone down well with the CCP.
Earlier, during the India-Sri Lanka virtual summit, India had announced a $15million grant to Sri Lanka to deepening people-to-people linkages between the two countries in the sphere of Buddhism.
India bringing naysayers of Quad to the mainstream
Yasuhide’s statements are based on the work laid down by the Modi government to bring the ASEAN nations together, as well as a country like Russia into the fore.
While China is visibly flabbergasted at the developments, Russia which has been on the fence at the prospect of its rival USA coming close to its shores is depending on New Delhi to bridge the gap.
Japan wants India to take the mantle from the US
While soft diplomacy is working its own magic in the region, the Union government hasn’t solely relied on this particular modus-operandi to alienate China. Be it the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) or South Asia, India is investing significant amounts of money in its strategic backyard. Countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka are increasingly gravitating towards India after having their fair share of flirtations and betrayal with China.
In the absence of Donald Trump in the White House and Joe Biden’s stance regarding Quad still shrouded in mystery, Tokyo is inadvertently signaling New Delhi to take up the mantle to lead the military alliance. India is the common thread that binds the Quad together, it is the soul of the alliance, and if the coalition of four-nations is to give any tangible results then New Delhi will have to step up to the plate.