New Delhi (Sputnik) — Signalling major mistrust among members of the proposed alliance between the United States, India, Japan and Australia, namely the Quad, the chief of the Indian Navy, Sunil Lanba, has categorically stated that the alliance will not have a military dimension and will stick to safe and secure economic co-operation in due course as well. Admiral Sunil Lanba, who is also India's senior-most military commander, said India has an unresolved border with China and that there are several reasons to not apply a military dimension to the Quad.
"There are dependencies of the nations involved in the Quad like Australian dependency on China for their economic well-being. The uncertainty of America when push comes to shove. So, I do not think there is a need for a military dimension to the Quad," Admiral Lanba said at a function organized by a think tank in New Delhi.
"We have to be cognizant of the fact that among the Quad members we are the only one who has the land border with China. Can we expect any members of the Quad, in case there is a difference of opinion and conflict on our northern border, to come to our rescue? Nobody will come and hold your hand," Admiral Lanba pointed out.
Not applying a military component to the Quad alliance indicates the importance India attaches to the opinions of the East Asian countries, as most of the countries view India as a regional power in the Asia-Pacific region, but do not favor any polarization of defense and trade.
"We are the only navy which has an open invitation to visit Vietnam and we have been doing this annually. Ships have been docking into Vietnam and ships have also gone onto Cameron Bay. I had the privilege to visit Vietnam last year and I was the first naval chief who was given access to the Vietnamese part of the naval harbor at Cameron naval bay," Lanba added.
The first meeting of the proposed Quad took place last November in Manila where diplomats from India, the US, Japan and Australia met after a long hiatus. The Quad alliance was first mooted in 2007 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.