On March 12, the Quadripartite talks between the United States, Japan, Australia, and India held their first summit (video). Although the White House has been trying to downplay the importance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issue in the Quad, the agenda and main outcomes of the meeting seem to be closely related to the CCP. In fact, it was this “quadripartite meeting” that launched the first major substantive action plan against the Chinese Communist Party – a four-nation “vaccine partnership” that plans to send 1 billion doses of COV to Asia by the end of 2022. The four countries plan to send one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Asia by the end of 2022 in order to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s “vaccine diplomacy.
After the summit, India’s foreign minister told a news conference, “The four countries have agreed on a plan to share their financial resources, manufacturing capacity and capability, and logistical advantages to ramp up production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in the Indo-Pacific region.” According to it, the division of labor among the four countries is that India will use its production capacity to manufacture the U.S. vaccine (India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer); funding will come from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (U.S. International Development Finance Corporation) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation); and Australia will fund training and provide logistical support for vaccine distribution. The vaccines will go primarily to the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean countries.
Indeed, such cooperation is “most urgent and valuable,” as India’s foreign minister put it.
First, the plague is ravaging countries, and vaccine cooperation “will accelerate the recovery process in the post-Epidemic period. To date, the United States has 30 million confirmed cases and over 540,000 deaths, India has about 11.4 million confirmed cases and 159,000 deaths, the first and third in the world, respectively, and a very high percentage of the world (over 120 million confirmed cases and over 2.6 million deaths); Japan has 446,000 confirmed cases and 8,566 deaths, relatively speaking, the numbers are not particularly huge, but the Tokyo Olympics have been greatly affected; Australia has nearly 30,000 confirmed cases and 909 deaths, and the economy has been hit hard. 909, and the economy has been hit hard. It is imperative that the four countries cooperate on vaccines – making full use of the strengths of each country.
Second, after the outbreak, there was a “vaccine race” between China, Russia and the free societies of the United States and Europe. Although the quality of homemade vaccines is questionable, the Chinese Communist Party has taken advantage of the huge gap between the current global supply of vaccines and demand to engage in “vaccine diplomacy” to entice and coerce poor and weak countries and international organizations. For example, on January 13, Indonesia, the largest country in ASEAN, televised the vaccination of its president by China’s Kexing, and on March 11, the International Olympic Committee announced that it would provide Chinese vaccines to participants in the Tokyo and Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The political agenda behind the Chinese Communist Party’s “making Chinese vaccines a global public good” is a serious threat to countries and the international community. On March 12, Japanese Olympic Minister Marukawa Juyo made it clear that Japan has not approved the Chinese vaccine and therefore the teams will not receive the vaccine provided by China.
Once again, the four countries’ “vaccine cooperation” will greatly promote the full development of the “quadripartite talks” mechanism. In the past, Chinese Communist Party and public attention has focused on the military dimension of the Quadripartite Talks and whether they would evolve into an “Indo-Pacific version of NATO”. But in the current situation, it is more difficult for the four countries to establish a military alliance; if the four countries can instead strengthen and intensify their cooperation at the levels of economy, science and technology, and responding to non-traditional security threats, and if they can achieve significant results, then the “quadripartite talks” can turn the “low politics” (generally referred to as “low politics”) into an alliance. “(low politics, generally in the economic, social, and cultural fields) and “high politics” (generally in the fields of war, peace, and military security), broaden the scope of cooperation, consolidate the content of cooperation, and develop comprehensively to form The “quadripartite talks” have been held in the United States.
To sum up, the upgrade of the “quadripartite talks” from ministerial to summit level and the launch of the vaccine cooperation program are of great significance and have far-reaching implications.
The future of the Quartet is being watched with great interest as the global strategic landscape evolves toward a bipolar confrontation between the United States and China. The Biden administration sees the Quadripartite Talks as the “foundation of Indo-Pacific policy. When asked whether the Quadripartite talks would be expanded in the future, a senior U.S. official said that while a decision was made to hold a leaders’ meeting, it would remain an informal mechanism for now.
Indeed, when the Quartet was first created in 2007, it was a strategic cooperation forum that fell silent; it was only revitalized in 2017 to explore possibilities due to the CCP’s global ambitions and war-wolf diplomacy, and is far from settled. It is because of this uncertainty that its activities are mostly of a retreat nature. This Time, however, the “vaccine cooperation” is a substantive move, with a concrete content and clear direction, indicating that the “quadripartite talks” have taken a historic step forward.
The Chinese Communist Party is very concerned that the Quartet has become a “cabal,” but the external impetus for the Quartet’s development comes precisely from the Communist Party itself.
If, for example, the Communist Party were to restrain itself militarily, for example, by substantially moderating its strategic confrontation with the United States, refraining from strengthening its military threat to India, Japan and Australia, refraining from military provocations against Taiwan, and refraining from promoting the militarization of the South China Sea, the Quadripartite Talks would not evolve into an Indo-Pacific version of NATO; its direction of development would probably be based on shared values and would be similar to that of the The direction of its development may be based on common values, dovetailing with the “Seven-Nation Conference” and including some countries to form an “Alliance of Democracies” and a “Science and Technology Alliance” to counterbalance the CCP’s global penetration and expansion, mainly in terms of economy, science and technology, and values. The Alliance of Democratic States and the Alliance of Science and Technology will be formed to counteract the CCP’s global penetration and expansion in terms of economy, technology and values.
If the Chinese Communist Party does not stop and intensify its military efforts, it is likely to become the “Indo-Pacific version of NATO”.
The ball is on the CCP’s side. But history shows that the CCP has often lifted stones to smash its own feet.