Should the Quad be formalized? It has evolved from a crisis response group in 2004 to a strategic partnership today between the four member-countries – India, the U.S., Australia and Japan. There are benefits and challenges to the institutionalisation of the Quad which require timely analysis, especially as the group has renewed vigour this year with the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.
A noticeable feature of 2017 was China’s aggressiveness, which it deployed openly to advance its interests in the eastern rim, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. This could well be the impetus for the consolidation of a broad front of China-wary nations in 2018