Sunday 29 Nov 2020 | 13:54 | SYDNEY
Sunday 29 Nov 2020 | 13:54 | SYDNEY

The quad: China might have overdone it


Rory Medcalf


25 March 2008 11:47

It is difficult to disagree with Raoul Heinrichs’ recent assessment that the evaporation of the US-Japan-Australia-India quadrilateral dialogue demonstrates China’s growing influence and willingness to wield it. 

Much depends, of course, on whether the quadrilateral ‘Chinese ghost story’ is really over. And on whether the quad – one short meeting, four officials, no agenda — really was worth the diplomatic capital China felt compelled to expend in squashing it. I am told that India wasn’t really enthused about the quad idea until the Chinese started frantically demarching about it. Sure, in the end, and with the sudden departure of Shinzo Abe, Beijing got what it wanted. But it might have encountered the same result without kicking up such a fuss and, in the process, adding to the impression in some capitals (Delhi especially) that the panda tends to lose its temper when it doesn’t get its way.