06:04 GMT +323 October 2019
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): In an apparent setback to the informal Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as “the Quad”, India’s Ambassador to China Vikram Misri, has called for more communication between the Indian and Chinese air forces and navies.

    The Quad is held among four countries—the US, Australia, Japan, and India.

    Speaking during a recent weekend visit to Hong Kong, Ambassador Misri said while the Indian and Chinese armies have been communicating extensively, there is a need for their air forces and navies to increase cooperation.

    He particularly stressed bilateral naval cooperation because both India and China operate in the same waters.

    “We need to talk about the two air forces and the two navies – especially the two navies – because we are operating in the same waters and increasingly in the coming years, we will be meeting more and more in common waters,” Chinese daily South China Morning Post quoted Ambassador Misri as saying.

    Exchanges between the navies and air forces are taking place, but are “not as well developed” as the dialogue between their armies, the Indian envoy further emphasised.

    The Indian envoy’s comment comes amid recent talk of the need for members of “the Quad” to meet more often, and to look for ways to neutralise China’s defence ambitions in the Indo-Pacific Asia Region.

    Successive US administrations have tried to use various regional forums, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to take “the Quad” dialogue to the next level.

    Until 2008, these four countries were quietly coordinating security policy and military activities with China in mind, but this interaction was reduced due to domestic political compulsions in Japan, and the other three not being able to arrive at a consensus on the way forward.

    Washington and the White House, in particular, have been quite keen to resurrect “the Quad” dialogue. But since President Donald Trump’s visit to Asia in November 2017, there have been just two meetings.

    The ASEAN has preferred to remain non-aligned to avoid being involved in any potential conflict between the United States and China.

    Since the tense military stand-off at the Doklam plateau (located at the tri-junction of India, China, and Bhutan in 2017), both China and India have made efforts to repair their relations.

    According to Ambassador Misri, both India and China have been making progress in their ties. He also said preparations are ongoing for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India later this year.

    He said both nations should set aside their differences, and focus on areas where they can cooperate.



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