Did Biden launch the “Quad” strategic alliance with India, Japan and Australia?

Did Biden launch the “Quad” strategic alliance with India, Japan and Australia?

US President Joe Biden convinced India, Australia and Japan to join the US in forming an organization called Quad.



The alliance known as “Quad” was conceived after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, when the four countries came together to provide humanitarian aid. It was formalized in 2007 by then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before it went dormant. Former US President Donald Trump revitalized it in 2017, and it gained momentum under the Biden administration.

On May 20, 2023, US President Joe Biden met with his counterparts Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India in Hiroshima for the fifth convocation of the Quad Leaders’ Summit on the sidelines of the G7 meetings.

During the summit, a clip of Biden making the following statement went viral: “I doubt many people in this audience or any other audience would have said that two years after being elected I would be able to convince India, the ‘Australia, Japan, and the United States to form an organization called Quad to maintain stability in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.’

A Twitter account run by the Republican National Committee shared the clip in question, pointing out that Biden’s statement was incorrect: “The Quad was reinstated in 2017 under President Trump,” the tweet read.

Biden indeed claimed to have personally convinced the other three nations to form the Quad, as confirmed by the transcript of this event at the White House. RNC Research was correct in stating that the Quad alliance was not Biden’s brainchild. It emerged in previous decades and was revitalized under the Trump administration.

What is Quad? According to a January 2023 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on the Quad, it is a “four-nation coalition, consisting of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia” and “calls for a common platform for defending the rules – based on order, protecting freedom of navigation and promoting democratic values ​​in the region”.

According to the Washington Post, the group began as a loose alliance in 2004 to coordinate relief efforts after an Indian Ocean tsunami. In 2007, then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formalized the ties under the so-called Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. The group of nations met on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific forum convened by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2007. But the following year the Quad collapsed, largely because of concerns about alienation from China.

In 2017, the Quad reemerged under the Trump administration, which took a more confrontational approach to China. The CRS report credits Trump with starting revitalization efforts, adding that in 2020 (Trump’s last year in office and the year Biden won the presidency) the Quad’s re-emergence has been “accelerated.”

A 2020 foreign policy analysis of Trump’s motives said: “The Quad today is defined less by what it stands for and more by what it opposes: China. The Trump administration has identified China as its main adversary and therefore its main foreign policy problem.”

According to the CRS report, China’s military influence and assertiveness continue to impact the Quad’s motives, even under Biden. In its latest joint statement in May 2023, the group made thinly veiled references to China’s construction of bases on ancient offshore reefs, its harassment of non-Chinese vessels in international waters and its leverage tactics. economy on the poorest countries.

The group said, “We strongly oppose destabilizing or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo through force or coercion. […] We express our deep concern over the militarization of contested elements, the dangerous use of Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels, and efforts to disrupt the offshore resource exploitation activities of other countries. »

China had already denounced the Quad in 2007, accusing it of harming its interests. In 2018, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reacted to the group’s revitalization effort with some contempt: “They are like the foam of the sea in the Pacific or the Indian Ocean: they can attract be careful, but they will soon dissipate.”

Despite Biden’s attempt to take credit for bringing together Indian, Japanese and Australian leaders to form the Quad, the evidence is clear that the alliance began in 2007, resurfaced under the Trump administration and s continued under the Biden administration.


Agrawal, Ravi. “Why the Quad is the only alliance Trump cares about.” Foreign Policy, October 8, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/08/why-quad-alliance-trump-cares-about-india-australia-japan-china/. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“Analysis | What is the ‘Quad’ Alliance and why doesn’t China like it?” Washington Post, May 17, 2023. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/2023/05/17/what-is-the-quad-alliance-and-why-doesn-t -china-like-it/0bbfdb7c-f476-11ed-918d-012572d64930_story.html. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“Foreign Minister Wang Yi Meets the Press.” https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjb_663304/wjbz_663308/2461_663310/201803/t20180309_468677.html. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“Indo-Pacific Notes: Trump, Modi Reaffirm Defense Ties, ‘Quad’ Meets.” Council on Foreign Relations, https://www.cfr.org/blog/notes-indo-pacific-trump-and-modi-reaffirm-defense-ties-quad-meets. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“Quadruple countries take a thinly veiled swipe at China.” Al Jazeera English, May 20, 2023. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/5/20/quad-countries-make-thinly-veiled-swipe-at-china. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“G7 quadruple summit reaffirms support for Indo-Pacific.” VOA, May 20, 2023, https://www.voanews.com/a/quad-summit-at-g7-reaffirms-support-for-indo-pacific/7102077.html. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“Fact Sheet on Quadruple Leaders Summit.” The White House, May 20, 2023, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/05/20/quad-leaders-summit-fact-sheet/. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“President Biden’s Remarks at a Press Conference.” The White House, May 21, 2023, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/05/21/remarks-by-president-biden-in-a-press-conference/. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“The ‘Quad’: Cooperation between the United States, Japan, India, and Australia.” Congressional Research Service, January 30, 2023, https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11678. Accessed May 22, 2023.

“What is the quad and how did it come about?” The Guardian, May 24, 2022. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/24/what-is-the-quad-and-how-did-it-come-about. Accessed May 22, 2023.


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