AUKUS vs Quad
What is QUAD?
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue also known as the QUAD, was formed in 2007 by then-Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, with the support of former US Vice President Dick Cheney along with former Australian PM John Howard and India’s former PM Manmohan Singh. However, with China issuing formal diplomatic protests, Australia during PM Kevin Rudd’s tenure withdrew from it due to the evolving tensions between the US and China.
However, India, Japan, and the United States continued holding joint naval and military exercises. Thereafter, the QUAD was revived with Australia re-joining the alliance in order to counter China militarily and diplomatically in the South China Sea. In 2021, the QUAD declared “a shared vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific”, thus countering China’s aggression in the region.
What is AUKUS?
The AUKUS is a trilateral security deal between Australia, the UK and the US in which the three nations have committed to protecting the Indo-Pacific from China’s dominance and built a class of nuclear-propelled submarines. It is a military alliance. In its first project, the US and the UK have committed to help Australia in developing and deploying nuclear-powered submarines. The initial talks of the AUKUS deal began at the G7 Summit hosted by the UK in June 2021 while the AUKUS pact was announced earlier this month.
Leaders of all four QUAD nations became more aligned in their common interests regarding China’s assertive attitude in the Indo-Pacific in 2021, and are inclined to establish a productive collaboration. In November 2020, all four navies took part in their first joint exercise in over a decade. In March 2021, US President Joe Biden conducted a virtual QUAD summit, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in attendance. Working groups were formed to address COVID-19 vaccinations, climate change, technological innovation, and supply-chain resilience.
The first project of AUKUS will be to help Australia acquire a nuclear-powered conventionally-armed submarine fleet. The three heads of state reaffirmed their intention to continue to work with their allies and groupings in tandem with AUKUS, with the QUAD being mentioned by Morrison and Biden, though they were not specific on details.
What are the differences and similarities between QUAD & AUKUS?
AUKUS vs Quad
1. The major difference between both the alliances is that the AUKUS is a military alliance, whereas QUAD is not, it is a diplomatic alliance. The QUAD discusses diplomatic and global issues along with a security dialogue.
2. Another difference would be that the AUKUS specifically will deal with the security and military situation in the Indo-Pacific region, however, the QUAD focuses on the affairs of the whole world, for instance in the 2021 virtual meet — they discussed the COVID-19 situation, vaccines and climate change.
3. The AUKUS only focuses on the military developments, as significant from their first project, where the UK & US are helping Australia to acquire a nuclear-powered conventionally-armed submarine fleet. On the other hand, QUAD focuses on multilateral issues — ranging from economic discussions, security affairs & global affairs, for eg: vaccines, Afghanistan situation etc.
4. The AUKUS trilateral military pact to protect the Indo-Pacific from China’s dominance and shield the post-1945 global order. However, the QUAD has an agenda of its own that suits shared interests of all the members.
5. One similarity between both the alliances is that both the groups have a common interest in protecting the Indo-Pacific region from China’s dominance over other nations.
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