MS Risk Blog

China vs. QUAD

Posted on in Uncategorized title_rule

In the past month, tensions have continued to grow between China and the Quad members over disputes such as Taiwan, Senkaku Islands, and growing alliances. There are concerns as to whether the disputes and continuous advances in military force in the region could lead to a potential conflict between China and the Quad members in the near future. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD and also known as QUAD), is a strategic dialogue formed in 2007 between the United States, India, Japan and Australia, which is maintained by talks between member countries.

This week Japan drew a red line around an island chain also claimed by China, pushing back at Beijing’s increasingly aggressive military posture, and setting the stage for a potential showdown between the region’s two biggest powers. The set of islands are called the Senkaku islands, and they have long been fought for by the two big powers. This week Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said he Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, are unquestionably Japanese territory and would be defended as such, with Tokyo matching anyChinese threat to the islands ship for ship, and beyond if necessary. With that being said, Japan has expanded it’smilitary and defence forces in the region. The nation has added fighter jets, converted warships to aircraft carriers and has been building new submarines and missiles. Yet the countries defence forces are miniature compared to the Chinese increased military spending. On the other hand, Japan has its allies in the other Quad members, who have also claimed to rebuff China.

However, China is not backing down and is continuing to claim the region with more ships and by establishing new laws that give its coast guard expanded powers. According to Japanese authorities, Chinese Coast Guard vessels have ventured into Japanese territorial waters, or within 12 nautical miles of Japanese land, a total of 88 times between January 1 and the end of August 2021. Arguably, China is using its large and expanse military force and presence in the region to demonstrate authority, which could have worked. Yet, Japan and the Quad members aren’t backing away anymore. In fact, on the 8th of September a US destroyer sailed near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, days after China imposed new maritime identification rules that include the disputed body of water. On September 1, China instituted a new rule that requires many ships to identify their names, call signs, current positions, next ports of call and estimated times of arrival with Chinese authorities upon entering the country’s territorial waters. When the USS Benfold passed near the Spratly Islands without abiding by the new rule, China accused the US of “illegally” entering its waters, claiming it had driven away the ship. US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin has repeatedly said that China is the pacing challenge for the US military, as the Pentagon shifts from fighting the wars of the Middle East to meeting the threat of China’s growing assertiveness in the Pacific. Austin’s first international trip as secretary was to Southeast Asia, where he and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with their counterparts. In late July, Austin said that China’s “claim to the vast majority of the South China Sea has no basis in international law.” Arguably, the new growing active forces from both the Quad members and Chinaare a cause for concern. If the nations don’t come together and draw a peaceful conclusion over the waters andislands, then potential conflicts are inevitable in the near future. Yet, at the moment it seems neither side are willing to back down, especially as this week a new security alliance was formed between the US, UK and Australia in order to strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific region as China expands its military might and influence. “This initiative is about making sure that each of us has the most modern capabilities we need to manoeuvre and defend against rapidly evolving threats,” the president said.

In addition to the conflict over the control of the Senkaku Islands, China and the Quad members are also arguing about Taiwan. Beijing continues to view Taiwan as an inseparable part of its territory even though the Chinese Communist Party never governed it. China has been stepping up its military pressure on Taiwan. In June, it sent over two dozen warplanes near the island, prompting Taiwan to alert its air defences. Chinese leader Xi Jinping says Taiwan must be brought under Beijing’s control and has not ruled out the use of force in making that happen. However, the Quad members have also said they are prepared to use force if China continues to actively claimTaiwan. Japan and Taiwan are actively linked, due to 90% of Japans imported energy coming from the seas surrounding the area. The island is the nation’s energy lifeline. Hence why the nation needs to protect the island from the control of Beijing.

Overall, tensions are continuing to increase with both sides actively growing their military presence and force in the region. Both sides need to create a peaceful conclusion or an inevitable war will occur in this region in the near future. Arguably with both sides not likely to back down and the increase in military force and alliances from both sides suggests they both see a conflict soon.

However, this will be like no war before because this time both sides have WOMD. Hence why peaceful and diplomatic conditions and arrangements should try to be made first in order for chaos to not occur in the region.