U.S. President Joe Biden is holding the first in-person meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as "the Quad," an informal strategic forum of the United States, Australia, Japan and India all democratic countries with a vested interest in countering China's rise in Asia.
Taking place barely a week after the stunning announcement of the new AUKUS military and technology pact joining Australia, the UK, and the United States, the new set of meetings underlines the growing urgency with which Washington and its partners seek to reconfigure the Indo-Pacific balance of power.
AUKUS, the QUAD and increasing efforts by the U.S. to counter China's rise in the region. And, where does that leave South Korea?
It's the topic of our News In-depth tonight with Joel Atkinson, Professor at the Graduate School of International and Area Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
Professor Atkinson, great to have you on the show.
Friday's Quad summit is expected to consolidate some of the group’s recent initiatives, such as vaccine diplomacy and resilient supply chains.
We expect the leaders to discuss cooperation on technology, which is becoming increasingly entwined with geopolitics - ranging from semiconductors and telecommunications to space security and technology governance.
How significant is this first in-person meeting between the leaders of the Quad?
Although the Quad is not an Asian NATO, would you say it's also clearly moving in the direction of a cooperative security approach?
How far would the Quad be willing to go in opposing Beijing?
Would that mean a restructuring of regional security alliances and cooperation in this part of the world?
Earlier this month Australia and the U.S. joined the UK to announce AUKUS, an agreement by which the three nations would exchange military information and technology to form a closer defense partnership in Asia. Beijing pointed to the AUKUS deal as an example of how Washington is only focused on military power in Asia. How do you foresee this new military agreement having an impact on the growing divide between those pro-China and anti-China?
How will the QUAD and AUKUS impact South Korea's position in the regional alliance posture?
Professor Joel Atkinson for us tonight. Thank you.