Quad is a statement that others cannot have ‘veto’ on our choices: Jaishankar

The Quad is a statement that others cannot have a “veto” on choices of like-minded nations and the coalition is here to stay, grow and contribute to global prosperity, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday, amid mounting global concerns over China’s rising assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.

In an address at a think-tank forum, Jaishankar described the coalition of India, the US, Japan and Australia as an “overhead light” that is a “creative, flexible, nimble, responsive and open-minded” enterprise.

The Quad has largely been focusing on bolstering cooperation to ensure a free and an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific in the face of Chinese belligerence.

The external affairs minister said the Quad reflects the growth of a multipolar global order and its central approach is collaborative, and not unilateral.

“All four governments have behaved differently from how they normally do. The Quad is an overhead light — creative, flexible, nimble, responsive and open-minded enterprise. These are not adjectives we normally associate with the bureaucracy,” he said explaining the principles that the grouping stands for.

Jaishankar also said that the Quad has five messages, “One — it reflects the growth of a multipolar order; two — it is post-alliance and post-Cold War thinking; three — it is against spheres of influence; four — it expresses the democratising of the global space and a collaborative, not unilateral approach and five — it is a statement that in this day and age, others cannot have a veto on our choices,” he said.

He noted that the Quad is facilitated by the emergence of the Indo Pacific, adding it is propelled by a change in the global order that requires “more” and “not less collaboration”.

The external affairs minister asserted that the Quad “is here to stay, the quad is here to grow and the quad is here to contribute,” calling for making it more contemporary, relevant and more impactful.

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