10:22 GMT02 August 2021
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    The chief of the Indian Navy has specifically emphasized the "uncertainty of America" as the reason behind India’s reservations against having a military dimension applied to the proposed Quad alliance between the United States, India, Japan and Australia.

    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. 

    READ MORE: China Rebuffs Macron's Remarks on 'Hegemony' in Indo-Pacific Region

    "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.

    The specific mentioning of the uncertainty of America is quite significant as, during the Doklam crisis, when the situation blew out of proportion at the border, the Trump administration maintained baffling silence during the crisis.

    "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.  

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    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.

    Last week, Singapore's defense minister Ng Eng Hen sounded his reservation against the Quad and rather emphasized an "inclusive regional security architecture" wherein all small and large states have ways and means to resolve disputes through peaceful means. Admiral Lanba on Wednesday also indicated that India would maintain its growing defense and trade partnership independently in the region, which is also known as China's backyard. 

    READ MORE: India Downplays Chinese Threat in Indian Ocean, Says No Tension With China

    "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.


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