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The Revival

of the QUAD
and the Emergence of
the Indo-Pacific

Dr. RENATO C. DE CASTRO


The Revival
of the QUAD
and the Emergence of
the Indo-Pacific
AS THE
21ST CENTURY
GEOPOLITICAL REGION
Dr. RENATO C. DE CASTRO
Copyright © 2018 by Albert Del Rosario Institute
for Strategic and International Studies

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Stratbase ADR Institute
The Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute (ADRi) is an independent international
and strategic research organization with the principal goal of addressing the issues
affecting the Philippines and East Asia.

Victor Andres “Dindo” C. Manhit


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BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Ambassador Albert del Rosario
was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines from 2011 to 2016. He also served as
Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America from 2001 to 2006.

Manuel V. Pangilinan
is CEO and managing director of First Pacific Company Limited. He is also the chairman of
MPIC, PLDT, Meralco, and Smart Communications, among others.

Edgardo G. Lacson
is an honorary chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI). He
is the Chairman of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines.

Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez


is the former president of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

Ernest Z. Bower
is senior adviser for Southeast Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
(CSIS). He is CEO of BowerGroupAsia (BGA), and a leading expert on Southeast Asia.

Renato C. de Castro, Ph. D


is a full professor of international studies at De La Salle University – Manila (DLSU). He
holds the Charles Lui Chi Keung Professorial Chair in China Studies.

Judge Raul C. Pangalangan, Ph. D


is a judge of the International Criminal Court. He was previously a dean of the University of
the Philippines College of Law and publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Epictetus E. Patalinghug, Ph. D


is a professor emeritus at the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business, University of the
Philippines (UP), Diliman.

Francisco A. Magno, Ph. D


is the executive director of the Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance and former
President of the Philippine Political Science Association. He is a professor of political
science at DLSU.

Carlos Primo C. David, Ph. D


is a professor of Geology and Environmental Science in UP Diliman.
CONTENTS

Executive Summary viii

Introduction 1

The Concept of a Geopolitical Region 2

The Birth and Early Demise


of the Quad
4

21st Century Chinese Naval Expansion 6

The Strategic Rebalancing to Asia 9

Blunting the Strategic Rebalancing to Asia:


China’s Belt and Road Inititative, the Trump Administration
and the Revival of the QUAD 17

The Revival of the QUAD 21

The Indo-Pacific Region as the 21st Century


Geopolitical Region 23

Implications for the Philippines 25

References 28

Acknowledgments

About the Author



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The recent use of the term Indo-Pacific region in the policy circles is related with
formation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) in 2007, which brings together
four countries together in a loose security association—the U.S., Japan, India, and
Australia. The QUAD was considered as a loose association of maritime democracies
seeking to strengthen each other on the basis of shared values and interests. All countries
represented in the QUAD share a great many security interests and have shared interests
in maritime security that extends from East Asia to the Indian Ocean. This association,
however, suffered a swift and sudden death when Australia withdrew from the loose
association after the election of the Rudd government in 2008.
A number of developments such as China’s maritime expansion, the U.S. Strategic
Rebalancing to Asia, and the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative led to its revival
in 2017. The revival of the association stemmed from the four members’ view that
Chinese behavior since 2008, with regard to territorial and maritime disputes, the South
China Sea, the terms and strategic impact of OBOR, the lack of reciprocity in economic
relations, or the use of economic leverage, has increased concerns among their respective
governments. The Trump Administration’s decision to engage China in a strategic
completion, along with the revival of the QUAD, led to the use of the geostrategic term
Indo-Pacific to replace the old Asia-Pacific. Rather than restricted by the old term Asia-
Pacific region, the term Indo-Pacific region underscores the expansion of the ongoing
geostrategic contest between China and the QUAD.
The revival of the QUAD and the formation of the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical region
have the following implications on contemporary Philippine foreign policy:
1) Possible Erosion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) centrality
in Regional Security Architecture—The revival of the QUAD and the expansion of the
geopolitical competition between ASEAN members and China will exert tremendous
strategic and diplomatic pressure on ASEAN that might effectively weaken its ability to
play a central role in regional security.
2) Constraint on the Philippines’ Tendency to Tilt Closer to China—The Philippines
has close economic and security relations with three members of the QUAD. The
Philippines has a mutual defense treaty with the U.S. Japan and Australia are two security
partners of the Philippines. These countries are silently but warily observing the Duterte
Administration’s efforts to appease China. If they will determine that the Philippines’
appeasement policy on China will undermine the regional balance of power and their
interests, they might collectively constrain the Philippines’ tilt towards China by applying
their respective diplomatic, strategic and economic clout in the country.
3) A Viable Tool for a Renewed Equi-balancing Gambit—If the Philippines will
craft and adopt a more nuanced foreign policy based on equi-balancing China with the
other major powers in the region, the QUAD will provide it the viable means to adopt
this policy. In applying this strategy, a minor power fosters its diplomatic linkages and
economic activities with two or more competing major powers to a level whereby it is able
to influence the major powers’ policies yet insulate itself from undue external influence.

viii
The Revival of the QUAD and
the Emergence of the Indo-Pacific
as the 21st Century Geopolitical Region
RENATO C. DE CASTRO, PH.D

P rior to the summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations


(ASEAN) in Manila in mid-November 2017, four Indo-Pacific powers —
Australia, Japan, India, and the United States — revived a loose security association
called “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” or otherwise known as the QUAD.
Almost more than a decade ago, these four powers formed the original QUAD on
the sides of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Summit in Manila in 2007. Its goal
was to provide a platform for these four Indo-Pacific states to exchange views on
regional security issues with a special focus on the rise of China and its implication
for Asian Security.1 Unfortunately, however, critics of the QUAD labelled it as an
“Asian North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)” that was formed to contain
China. Immediately, China officially protested and asked each member of the
QUAD to explain the objective of this loose security association. Unfortunately,
the QUAD experienced a premature and sudden death when the Kevin Rudd-led
Australia succumbed to Chinese diplomatic pressure to withdraw the country from
the association, and as the Indian government tried to earn Chinese goodwill as it
kept Japan out of its annual bilateral naval exercise with the U.S.
After a decade of slumber, however, the QUAD was revived in Manila on the
sides of the East Asian Summit in mid-November 2017. Its revival, in turn, gave
rise to a new geopolitical region—the Indo-Pacific. The use of this 21st century
geostrategic concept stems from the fact that although the U.S. is not an Asian
1
2 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

power geographically, it has Pacific territories which makes it an integral and


a central element to Asian security.2 As the uncontested U.S. primacy in East
Asia gives way to an intensified geopolitical competition with China, however,
Washington has a grand strategic interest in the development of friendly centers of
power in the Indo-Pacific that are capable of sustaining a non-Sinocentric regional
order.3 In this respect, India is the major non-Chinese Asian power whose scale and
potential aggregate capabilities will decisively determine the future of the Indo-
Pacific region.4
This article examines the relation between the revival of the QUAD in the second
decade of the 21st century and the formation of the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical
region. It raises the main question: What is the relation between the revival of the
QUAD and the creation of the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical region? It also addresses
the following questions: A) What developments lead to the creation and early
demise of the QUAD in the first decade of the 21st century? B) What developments
led to its revival in 2018? C) What are the diplomatic/strategic implications of the
revival of the QUAD and formation of the Indo-Pacific region?

The Concept of a Geopolitical Region

Geopolitics is defined as the practice of states of controlling and competing for


vital or strategic regions.5 It examines the dynamic relationship between power in
the international system and the geographic context of this system. It assumes that
while geography doesn’t immediately change, the interests of the territorial states do
and so are their respective strategic capabilities vis-à-vis each other. An important
concept in geopolitics is the notion of a geopolitical region such as Halford J.
Mackinder’s Heartland, Alfred Thayer Mahan’s the World Ocean, and the Nicholas
J. Spkyman’s Rimland. A geopolitical region is based on the late 19th century idea
that the world is an interconnected whole but there are some areas or regions that
are more important than the others because of their unique strategic location or
these areas or regions contain important resources. Consequently, said areas or
regions became an arena for rivalry as great powers compete for the control of this
space.6 Accordingly, a geopolitical region must be large enough to generate certain
globe-influencing characteristics and functions, primarily because contemporary
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 3

grand strategies can only be realized in these terms.7 It is an expression of the


interrelationship of a large part of the world in terms of location, movement, trade
orientation, cultural or ideological bonds, and the military capabilities of states in
that part of the globe.
Control of the strategic passageways on land and sea is deemed crucial to the
unity and cohesion of a geopolitical region. Classical geopolitics argues that the
unity of areas of movement within a specific region cannot be complete unless
the strategic capabilities of states within the area are applied and be dominant—
that a commanding navy rules the entity of the body of water within this region; a
preponderant army occupies all of the land space; and that a superior air-force has
complete control of the space above this area.8 A geopolitical region or space could
only be explained and understood in terms of an “arena of politics and strategy” as
one of competition for supremacy among the (powerful) states.9 This is reflected in
the increasing usage of “Indo-Pacific” region to replace the old term “Asia-Pacific”
region.
Until recently, Asia-Pacific was the standard geopolitical term to describe the
Pacific Rim. Now the term “Indo-Pacific” is being used in strategic documents of
most major powers in the region. This region extends from the west coast of the U.S.
to the west coast of India.10 It signifies actually nothing more than a combination
of the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Rim countries.11 Geographically, the
Indo-Pacific connects two of the seven oceans of the world: the Pacific and the
Indian Oceans.12 The term was first coined during the Cold War by the U.S. Pacific
Command (PACOM) as it confronted Soviet naval expansion in the Indian Ocean.
The withdrawal of the British in Indian Ocean in the late 1960s created a classic
power vacuum in the Indian Ocean.13 The Soviet Union then began sending naval
units into the area for show of flag-missions. The Soviet Union used the shore
facilities of Somalia for the operation of its navy in the Indian Ocean. To counter
Soviet moves in the Indian Ocean, PACOM decided to expand its presence from
the Pacific to the Indian Ocean.14 The U.S. and the United Kingdom established
joint communications and refueling stations on Aldabra Island and Diego Garcia
Island.15 In 1976, in reaction to growing Soviet naval presence through its naval
base in Somalia, the U.S. Navy upgraded its austere naval facility in Diego Garcia
into a full-fledged carrier task force support base.16
Since the 1970s, the PACOM has regarded the two oceans as a unified strategic
4 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

theater and described it as the “Indo-Asia-Pacific” region.17 Consequently, backed


by its overwhelming power-projection capability, the U.S. has promoted the liberal
order and an open economic regime by preventing external hegemonic control, as
well as the rise of other threats to the Indian Ocean region as a “global commons.”18
Recently, China has improved its naval capabilities in both quantity and quality to
the point that it is challenging American sea power in the East and South China
Seas. China has not yet projected its growing naval capabilities in the Indian Ocean
region. However, growing Chinese economic and diplomatic presence, which was
made possible through the One Belt, One Road Initiative, will enable it to project its
comprehensive power in this region in the near future. Clearly, China’s emergence
as an economic powerhouse and a naval player is challenging this liberal order as it
became an assertive power determined to offset American political influence and
strategic advantage and to ease the U.S. out of the Indo-Pacific region.

The Birth and Early Demise of the QUAD

The recent use of the term Indo-Pacific region in the policy circles is linked with
formation of the QUAD which brings together four countries together in a loose
security association—the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia. The QUAD had two
antecedents. The first was the Tsunami Core Group in 2004-2005, when officials
from the four countries coordinated their responses to the 2004 tsunami in the
Indian Ocean. The four countries came together with the U.S. as the leader because
they were the ones with resources and the desire to act effectively and quickly. The
group was then seen as a model for ad-hoc collaboration by multiple countries, but
the arrangement was disbanded once the need for such an effort has disappeared.
The other antecedent is the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD) that was formed
by the U.S., Japan, and Australia to coordinate their respective policies within
relatively large security groupings such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the
East Asian Summit.19 TSD reflected the proliferation of minilateral and plurilateral
groups that were considered the “middle ground” approach to regional order
relative to the usually exclusivist bilateral and inclusivism multilateral arrangements
in East Asia.20 TSD, which was established in 2002, was upgraded to the foreign
ministerial level in 2006, and held its fifth meeting in 2013.21 The three members
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 5

held an annual trilateral ministers meeting on the sides of the Shangri-la Dialogue
in Singapore.22 Its members tried to integrate and expand beyond their current
security associations by pooling and sharing information about, and generating
resources in responses to, wider diversity of security challenges. The U.S., Japan,
and Australia agreed on specific goals related to neutralizing a relatively wide range
of human or non-traditional security contingencies such as disaster relief, counter-
terrorism, and maritime security.23 The inclusion of India in the May 2007 meeting
in Manila transformed the TSD into a four-cornered dialogue eventually becoming
a Quadrilateral Initiative.
The May 2007 meeting was an exploratory meeting that examined issues of
common concerns like disaster relief involving countries that “share some values
and growing cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.” There was no formal agenda during
the meeting and no decision was made about subsequent meetings. However, there
was a vague understanding that the four members of the QUAD would meet again.
Immediately, observers assumed that although the meeting was exploratory, the
QUAD would become a security arrangement, an alliance, or expansion of the TSD
with the goal of eventually evolving into Asian NATO that will contain China. This
view stemmed from the fact that each member state had its respective concern
about China’s emergence as regional power, and this matter was central in the
creation of this loose security association.24
Since the beginning of the 21st century, China experienced a remarkable
economic growth that enabled it to overtake Japan economically, and currently,
it stands second only to the United States in terms of the size of its economy.
Consequently, China’s external behavior has become more assertive and proactive as
it gained greater confidence because of its rapid economic development. Burdened
with its sense of historical humiliation and bent on pursuing its expansive territorial
claims on land and sea that affect several of its neighbors, states from the rim of the
Western Pacific to the Indian Ocean became wary of its emergence as a regional
power. Consequently, members of the QUAD were wary that if China acquires
more and more political, economic, and military power, it will use it to advance its
interests in the natural course of things.25
The diplomatic and strategic exigency to design the QUAD as an anti-China
coalition, however, was non-existent since its members have extensive economic
ties with China. They were all committed to a policy of constructive engagement,
6 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

not containment, of this emergent East Asian power.26 The QUAD could, therefore,
be considered as a loose association of maritime democracies seeking to strengthen
each other on the basis of shared values and interests. However, its formation
indirectly isolated China as a non-democratic power and eroded its diplomatic
standing in international gatherings.27 Furthermore, the QUAD emphasized
multilateralism in contrast to China’s bilateral approach. Hence, it offered a model
that was quintessentially antithetical to China’s approach to international issues
and problems. Finally, all countries represented in the QUAD share a great many
security interests and have shared interests in maritime security that extends from
East Asia to the Indian Ocean.28 It has nothing to do with strategic deterrence;
it simply offers the multilateralism as a more and better option for the regional
states. This association, however, suffered a swift and sudden death when Australia
withdrew from the loose association after the election of the Rudd government
in 2008.29 The early demise of the association generated two views reading this
alliance of four democracies. One view saw the sudden demise of the QUAD “as
a move to establish a highly charged and blatantly ideological organization that
was destined to fail.”30 Another view saw its early death as an effort that placate
Beijing which ended up fueling its expansionist ambition in the region.31 A number
of developments from 2008 to 2016, however, will get the band back together in
2017. This was because its members realized that for about more than a decade, the
region has experienced increasingly unsettling Chinese strategic behavior, and the
idea of maintaining the QUAD would confirm that it is an option worth keeping in
mind for balancing pervasive Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.32

21st Century Chinese Naval Expansion

In the mid-1980s, Admiral Liu Huaqing, the commander of the People’s Liberation
Army Navy (PLAN), announced the “Near Seas Active Defense” doctrine. The
doctrine called for the PLAN to form layered defenses in the first-island chain to
prevent a potential adversary from threatening China from the sea.33 Following its
inability to challenge U.S. naval intervention during the 1996 Taiwan Straits crisis,
China has focused on matching or measuring U.S. force projection capabilities
through the development of its Anti-Access and Area-Denial (A2/AD) capabilities.34
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 7

In the mid-1990s, China developed an arsenal of conventional yet inexpensive and


highly-precise armed ballistic and cruise missiles aimed at virtually every U.S. air-
base and port in the Western Pacific. These weapons are also designed to sink enemy
surface vessels (including U.S. aircraft carriers) operating hundreds of miles off
China’s coast.35 Chinese military planners believe that their missiles, with A2/AD
capabilities, can adequately hinder the U.S. Navy from intervening in or provoking
a confrontation with China in the region.36 Thus, the U.S. Navy since the last decade
of the 20th century, estimates that China has the means to disrupt or slow down the
deployment of American air and naval forces to the theater of operations.37
The emergence of China as the manufacturing hub of the global economy and
as a major power in world politics is the most significant strategic development in
the second decade of the 21st century. China’s phenomenal economic prosperity
during the first decade of the 21st century transformed it into an engine of growth
in East Asia and, indeed, the wider world. With its Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
surpassing Japan in 2010, it has become the second largest economy in the world
next only to the U.S. Its rapid economic progress has not only made the country
more confident and assertive in foreign affairs but also heightened its military
prowess.38 China has had an annual double-digit increase in defense spending since
2006. At the start of the 21st century, the Chinese government increased its defense
budget by 13% to boost the PLAN’s capability to accomplish a wide range of military
functions including winning local wars under information-age conditions. Since
the early years of the new millennium, the PLAN has acquired a fleet of Russian-
made diesel-electric Kilo-class submarines and Sovremenny-class destroyers, along
with several types of indigenously-built destroyers, frigates, and nuclear-powered
attack submarines. It also continues to upgrade its operational capabilities across
the waters surrounding Taiwan and has deployed two new classes of ballistic and
attack submarines.
Strong economically and militarily, China has taken provocative actions in the
South and East China Seas. These include the unilateral declaration of an East
China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ); the conduct of several live-fire
naval exercises by the PLAN and the People’s Liberation Army’s Air Force (PLAAF)
in the Western Pacific/South China Sea, and the hardline responses by the PLAN in
coordination with other Chinese maritime law-enforcement agencies on territorial
rows with the Philippines and Vietnam in the contested sea.39 Because of these
8 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

moves, the other littoral states remain suspicious of China’s maritime design in
the region.40 From their viewpoint, these maneuvers smack of Chinese territorial
expansionism and adventurism.41 However, from China’s perspective, it is a case
of the country outgrowing its subordinate status in the past and feeling confident
enough to press its case in the Western Pacific and to stand its ground in managing
its territorial and sovereignty issues in the East and South China Seas.42
Arguably, China’s aggressive pursuit of its territorial claim over the South China
Sea has increased in tandem with the expansion of its navy and maritime services.43
Its regular naval exercises utilize modern surface combatants and even submarines.44
These actions concretize China’s intention to unilaterally and militarily resolve the
maritime issue, flaunt its naval capabilities, and impress upon the other claimant
states its “de facto” ownership of the disputed territories.45 In the long run, China’s
naval capabilities will be directed not only to expand its maritime domain but to
deny foreign navies—especially that of the U.S.—access to the South China and
East China Seas. In time, it will be capable of depriving the U.S. Seventh Fleet’s
access to the Western Pacific inside of the so-called ‘first island chain’.46 Hence,
China’s aspiration to project its naval power not only to the near seas but to the
far seas—the sea adjacent to the outer rim of the first island chain and those of the
north Pacific—is no longer a remote possibility.47
In 2015, China fortified its expansive maritime claim in the South China Sea
by constructing artificial islands over the eight reefs it occupied in in the Spratlys.
Based on the satellite images provided by the IHS Janes Defense Weekly, China has
created new artificial islands at Hughes, Johnson, Gaven, Fiery Cross, and Mischief
Reefs.48 On 9 April 2015, the Chinese foreign ministry acknowledged China’s
massive artificial island constructions in the Spratlys as it justified this effort as a
means of “satisfying necessary military defense requirements” while at the same
time to provide “civilian facilities such as typhoon shelters, fishing services, and
civil administration offices” for China, its neighbors, and international vessels
sailing in the South China Sea.”49 Despite President Xi Jinping’s statement to then
President Barack Obama that China “does not intend to pursue militarization” of
the Spratly Islands, China continued its construction of airstrips and other facilities
for military requirements in the disputed land features.
In November and December 2015, the PLAN conducted two massive naval
exercises in the South China Sea involving guided missile destroyers, frigates,
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 9

submarines, early warning aircraft and fighter jets.50 These efforts enabled China to
have the strategic advantage in conflicts over territorial sovereignty and maritime
rights and interests in the South and East China Sea as the PLAN is expected to
develop [naval] capabilities needed to gain control of both sea and air in wartime,
while strengthening its presence in peacetime.51 Clearly, with its rapid economic
development and consequent increase in defense spending particularly in the
domains that the U.S. is most concerned about—air, sea, and space—, China has
become an unprecedented and present security challenge for the U.S.52 Observing
the long-term implication of Chinese efforts to develop the PLAN’s A2/AD
capabilities, a recent RAND Corporation study warned:

China views the United States as the greatest threat to its security and ambition
in East Asia. China could be motivated to use force in areas that it claims, though
such a move could be seen as international aggression — Taiwan, the East and
South China Seas, and the Korean peninsula — should a conflict with North Korea
or a North Korean collapse threaten its borders. It could be motivated to threaten
or use force against neighbors if provoked and if the risks of U.S. intervention can
be reduced…It (China) has focused intently on meeting and defeating U.S. force
projection capabilities …53

The Strategic Rebalancing to Asia

As an American grand strategy in the second decade of the 21st century, the Obama
Administration’s rebalancing policy served as a counterweight or a means to
constrain China’s pervasive influence and power in East Asia. The March 2012
Congressional Research Service Report indicated that President Obama’s strategic
pivot to Asia expands rather than transforms U.S. defense policy in Asia since 1945
— which is the maintenance of forward deployed forces to guarantee America’s
involvement in significant regional developments.54 The report also stated that “the
Administration’s increased emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region appears to be more
of a change in means than a change in policy goals…underlying much of the Obama
policy is the long-standing challenge of managing tension in Sino-U.S. relations
while seeking to deepen China’s integration into the international community.”55
Additionally, the strategic rebalancing policy addressed two broad problems,
10 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

namely:56 1) how to deter Chinese destabilizing efforts in East Asia; and 2) how
to encourage China to contribute to multilateral global governance particularly
in preventing nuclear proliferation, climate change, and international financial
instability. A 2013 study of the strategic rebalancing to Asia noted: “…U.S. policy
would focus on strengthening security relations with key allies and others while
treating Beijing as an occasional collaborator in addressing regional and global
problems, especially in the economic sphere.”57
Publicly, American decision-makers downplayed the geostrategic purpose of
the rebalancing strategy policy to Asia, and instead, highlighted the prospects of
improved economic, commercial, and trade ties with East Asia. In 2013, former
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M.
Campbell contended that the Asia-Pacific exerts an inescapable gravitational pull
on the U.S. since the region accounts for half of the world’s economic output and
includes four of the world’s largest economies, that is, China, India, Indonesia, and
Japan.58 During his visit to Laos during the ASEAN summit, then President Obama
asserted that engaging the Asia-Pacific is critical to America’s future prosperity
and security.59 He explained that the rebalancing is a way for the U.S. to shape the
Asia-Pacific regional architecture; maintain its leadership status in the region;
and vigorously participate in the forums provided by the ASEAN and the East
Asia Summit.60 Accentuating the non-political and non-strategic nature of the
rebalancing obscures the fact that it is a grand strategy that laid out the goals and
means on how American power could be used to pursue its national interests and
values in the face of a potential adversary, which in this case is China, an emergent
and major Asian power.
On November 11, 2016, speaking before the Australian Parliament in Canberra
apropos American presence in Asia, then President Barack Obama declared:
“Reduction in U.S. spending will not—I repeat, will not—come at the expense of
the Asia-Pacific. We will preserve our unique ability to project power and preserve
peace (in East Asia).61 He affirmed that maintaining U.S. forward deployed forces in
the Asia-Pacific has remained his top priority despite cuts in U.S. defense spending.
The rebalancing strategy which sought to rectify the high cost and wanton use
of U.S. resources and troops in Iraq and Afghanistan gave some leeway for the
Obama Administration to end its military commitments in these countries.62 It
also acknowledged that that the previous Bush Administration wasted enormous
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 11

resources, attention, and precious time on the war on terror in the Middle East.
In effect, the rebalancing allowed the Obama Administration to formulate a
comprehensive strategy in the Asia-Pacific. Without pressing commitments in
other parts of the world, the U.S. could reposition additional naval and air forces in
East Asia and fortify its alliance system to confront the China challenge, preserve
the freedom of navigation, and ensure American primacy in the Western Pacific.
This was a significant change in American strategic priority in the 21st century as
the U.S. reduces its focus on continental (low-intensity) conflicts to level up its air
and naval power in East Asia while simultaneously helping small and militarily
weak countries to secure their maritime and air spaces.63
In short, with the strategic rebalancing, the Obama Administration redirected
U.S. resources and attention to the Asia-Pacific. Like the containment policy
during the Cold War, it was a grand strategy which envisaged the use of American
power to pursue the country’s national interests and values in a region experiencing
dramatic changes because of China’s economic and military dynamism. It built on
more than a century of American economic, political, and strategic involvement
in the region that has made the U.S. in reality and in rhetoric a “Pacific power.”64
Focusing on Southeast Asia and a ‘whole government’ approach that incorporates
diplomacy, educational support, and international trade, the policy addressed the
concerns of Southeast Asian leaders who were mostly fixated on security matters.65
It used diplomatic, economic, and strategic means to sustain, protect, and promote
American leadership, interests, and values amidst China’s efforts to alter the
balance of power in the region. The bottom line of the strategic rebalancing was
articulated by former President Obama during the 2016 ASEAN summit in Laos:
“Our position is stronger and sends a clear message that as a Pacific nation we’re
here to stay.”66
The strategic rebalancing policy came not long after the second worst economic
recession in American history (the first was the Great Depression of the 1930s)
which began in 2008, and the proposed one trillion dollar reduction in U.S. defense
spending over the next ten years. On the one hand, these developments created
the perception that the U.S. was a declining power. China, on the other hand,
weathered the global financial meltdown better than the U.S. Consequently, China
became assertive in its international interactions, and invested in new military
hardware to counter the U.S. forward deployed forces in East Asia. The Obama
12 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

Administration knew full well that American military posture in the region is
crucial to the U.S. as an off-shore strategic balancer. The U.S., to boot, must show
to its allies its preponderance as a Pacific power. Hence, the Pentagon was tasked
to operationalize the military component of the rebalancing strategy to make sure
that the U.S. remains the primary guarantor of regional security for years if not
decades to come.67
Fundamentally, the rebalancing required reinforcing the Seventh Fleet to
expand the American strategic footprint from Northeast Asia to Southeast
Asia and to build-up the capacities of the small states around China to protect
their maritime and air spaces. The first component involved shifting 60% of the
U.S. Navy’s ships to the Asia-Pacific, primarily its six aircraft carriers, cruisers,
destroyers, and submarines. As part of this effort, the Pentagon replaced the U.S.S.
George Washington with the newer U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. It would also position its
most modern air-operations-oriented amphibious assault ship, the U.S.S. America
to the region by 2020; deploy two additional Aegis-capable destroyers to Japan; and
home-port all three of its newest class of stealth destroyers, the DDG-1000, with
the Pacific Fleet.68 The Pentagon also plans to station the latest F-35 aircraft and
two additional Virginia class attack submarines in the Pacific.69 Likewise, it will
utilize the F-22, P-8A Poseidon maritime reconnaissance planes, V-22 Ospreys, B-2
bombers, advanced undersea drones, the new B-21 long-range strike bomber, and
state-of-the-art tools for cyberspace, electronic warfare, and space.70
Interestingly, the Pentagon has allowed the U.S. Third Fleet greater latitude
to operate west of the International Date Line. This enables the San Diego-based
Third Fleet to send more ships to East Asia which is outside its normal theater of
operations and to sail alongside the Japan-based Seventh Fleet.71 In April 2016,
the Third Fleet deployed three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to operate in the
West Pacific as a surface-action group under the Third Fleet Forward Initiative.72
In the future, more Third Fleet ships will be deployed in East Asia to conduct
various maritime operations.73 This massive deployment of air and naval assets in
the Western Pacific will allow the U.S. forces to “offset advanced A2/AD weapon
systems proliferating in maritime Asia.”74 It will also ensure U.S. military primacy
in the Western Pacific by reducing the effectiveness of the PLAN’s A2/AD. This
thrust clearly pursues the deterrent/defensive role of U.S. forward deployed forces
in East Asia since the beginning of the 20th century—to prevent the rise of a
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 13

hegemon that could constrain America’s political, economic, and security interests
in the Pacific.75
The Pentagon has also restructured the deployment of U.S. forward deployed
forces from Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia to make them more geographically
distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable. In this connection,
the U.S. Navy has deployed its Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in Singapore and has
negotiated with seven Southeast Asian countries for port calls.76 The Pentagon
will likewise deploy the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) in Southeast Asia for the
Seventh Fleet to carry out counter-piracy operations and disaster relief missions.
Washington has also boosted its bilateral alliances with the Philippines and Australia.
The U.S. signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the
Philippines and the Bilateral Force Posture Agreement (FPA) with Australia. These
agreements have the express goal of rotating naval ships and marines in Southeast
Asia for expanded training with regional partners.
The rebalancing strategy necessitates fortifying the defense capabilities of
American allies to turn them into bedrocks of the region’s stability and security.
To make its bilateral alliances more relevant, the U.S. took three major steps:77
First, it assured its allies of continued U.S. strategic commitment to East Asia by
maintaining a significant force presence in the region, and actually increasing
its military capacity by 2020. Second, it encouraged allies to collaborate more
systematically and effectively beyond the traditional bilateral alliance network; and
third, it urged its allies to engage in security partnerships and military capacity-
building measures beyond Washington’s orbit of formal regional alliances but in
ways clearly meriting American support.
In July 2015, then U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced a new U.S.
Maritime Security Initiative (MSI). The MSI intends to upgrade the maritime
capacities of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines by providing them
with US$425 million in security assistance in the next five years.78 The overarching
goal is to set up a system to monitor and patrol the exclusive economic zones (EEZ)
of countries that have maritime borders in the South China Sea like the Philippines,
Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei.79 Aside from naval build-up, the Pentagon consults
these countries to ascertain their needs and requirements more effectively and to
explore new opportunities for maritime (security) collaboration.80 Summing up
the nature of the initiative, former Secretary Carter explained: “More than simply
14 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

providing more money or hardware, this initiative will help Indonesia, Malaysia,
the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam work with one another and with the United
States so that everyone can see more, share more, and do more to ensure maritime
security in the region’s vital waters.”81

Blunting the Strategic Rebalancing to Asia:


China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China was not intimidated by the rebalancing of American forces to Asia. The
forward deployment of more American forces so far has not deterred China from
its expansionist efforts in the South China Sea. From China’s perspective, this
course of action is worth pursuing since the U.S. is not willing to risk war despite
growing Chinese strategic challenge against the U.S. Seventh Fleet and its allies.
For China, its territorial expansion is a matter of vital interest to the extent of
using force. For the U.S., the credibility of its defense commitments to its allies is
important but not necessarily crucial since Chinese aggression does not directly
threaten American vital interests. China directly challenged American strategic
superiority by fortifying several land features in the South China Sea, conducting
large-scale military exercises, engaging American allies in dangerous stand-offs,
using coast guard vessels to assert China’s territorial claims, expanding the naval
activities of the PLAN, and effecting the rapid modernization of Chinese air and
naval assets.82
More significantly, as the world’s traditional and leading practitioner of
economic statecraft or geo-economics, China uses its massive wealth to advance
its geopolitical goal of blunting the Obama Administration rebalancing strategy
to Asia.83 China’s rapid economic growth and massive foreign exchange reserve
have enabled it to reshape regional trade and investment patters, and to influence
geo-strategic developments in East Asia. China has relied on its economic power
as assurance measures and inducements to neighboring states to cooperate with
it, but also used coercive economic measures like trade sanctions to punish
countries opposing its policies.84 Confronted by growing American naval presence
in the Western Pacific, China pursues its maritime expansion by outflanking and
blunting the U.S. rebalancing policy in the Asia-Pacific region through its huge
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 15

foreign aid and several infrastructure projects under the umbrella of One Belt,
One Road (OBOR).
The OBOR involved the building of comprehensive connectivity of countries
and regions through infrastructures such as roads, railways, and ports as well as
communications and energy projects.85 The OBOR seeks to connect regions and
countries through the following: (1) a route stretching from Central Asia west
through Russia to the Baltic; (2) a historical route starting from Central Asia
turning towards Western Asia, passing through the Persian Gulf on its way to the
Mediterranean Ocean; and (3) a route that passes through Southern China into
Southeast Asia then leads through South Asia into the Indian Ocean.86 To realize
OBOR’s goal of greater connectivity, President Xi made the following proposals:87
1) China will provide more international public goods through connectivity
development to its Asian neighbors; 2) economic cooperation would be provided
to both land and maritime projects; 3) cooperation would be promoted regarding
infrastructure development; and 4) China would commit US$40 billion to establish
a Silk Road Fund.
Historically, China has utilized infrastructure investments as an important
foreign policy instrument in strengthening its economic relations with its
neighboring states.88 Through the OBOR initiative, as well as through expanding
foreign investment and greater influence over its neighboring countries in particular,
and to the large international community in general, China is also aiming to deal
with the possible slowdown in the economy.89 OBOR is also intended to shape
its peripheral environment into forms favorable to China’s vital interests. More
significantly, this initiative is a manifestation of China’s plan to effect major changes
in the current international order in ways that would serve the country’s long-term
strategic and diplomatic goals.90
In 2015, Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that Chinese diplomacy would
give full support to the promotion of the OBOR.91 As a tool of economic statecraft,
the OBOR enables China to use its massive financial resources and networks and
human interchanges to create a more comprehensive economic and diplomatic
relations with countries both in Europe and Asia. It also facilitates China’s utilization
of existing regional organizations to the greatest extent possible for negotiations
and coordination for enhancing greater connectivity. Observing the geopolitical
goal of this initiative, Professor Graham Allison notes:
16 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

...OBOR is about much more than simply rechanneling excess industrial


capacity. Just as the original Silk Road not only spurred trade but also stimulated
geopolitical competition, OBOR will allow China to project power across several
continents. OBOR’s promise to integrate the countries of Eurasia reflects a vision in
which the balance of geostrategic power shifts to Asia.92

Through the OBOR, China is outflanking the Obama Administration’s


rebalancing strategy as it directed towards the Eurasian region away from the
Pacific, thus avoiding a direct confrontation with American maritime capabilities.
This enables China to project its influence over its western periphery where U.S.
power and interest are limited. This provides China the opportunity to seek a
sphere of influence in a way analogous to British political geographer’s Harold
Mackinder’s early 20th century thesis that the quest for global dominance starts
by occupying the Eurasian heartland.93 This will enable China to reap two major
strategic advantages:94 a) expanding China’s strategic maneuvering space into
Central Asia; and b) minimizing friction in U.S.-China relations.
The OBOR, however, is a two-edge geo-political sword. It expands China’s
influence into Eurasian sub-continent away from the Pacific. On the other hand, it
also projects Chinese influence into the east becoming China’s 21st century Marshall
Plan to blunt the U.S. strategic rebalancing to the Western Pacific.95 This is because
it provides China an effective tool to drive a wedge between countries and within
countries that it sees as having impact on its core interests such as Taiwan, Tibet,
and the South China Sea, or against any coalition of states that is challenging its
expansionist agenda in East Asia. Furthermore, the OBOR also strengthens China’s
hand in undermining military existing alliances and the current regional order
while empowering it to create new power relationships and arrangements that
exclude the U.S.
More significantly, through the promotion of this initiative, China demonstrated
its goal to promote economic development over the 21st century Maritime Silk
Road, which begins from its coastal provinces through the South China Sea to
the South Pacific.96 Although the OBOR seems to provide public goods to the
region by improving land and sea infrastructure, it also allows China to utilize that
infrastructure network strategically and to exclude other countries.97 Furthermore,
the idea of enhancing the connectivity of the Indian Ocean is compatible with
China’s strategic interests of securing energy, solving the Malacca Dilemma, and
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 17

securing the safe destinations for its investment capital, and more importantly, to
lay down the ground work for the building of a regional order advantageous to
China’s expanding interest in the Indo-Pacific region.98
As China exerts its economic influence in the Indian Ocean region through the
OBOR, the PLAN has stepped up its presence in the Indian Ocean by setting up a
supply base in Djibouti for the Chinese flotilla conducting anti-piracy operations.
In late 2008, the PLAN began conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of
Eden involving the deployment of low-intensity combat naval force supported by
commercial port facilities.99 As of March 2017, the PLAN has deployed 25 Escort
Task Force to the Gulf of Aden, each consisting of two destroyers and/or frigates
and a comprehensive supply ship, along with associated helicopters, medical
personnel, and PLAN special forces personnel.100 The PLAN ships visited the Port
of Aden several times while its task forces have used Djibouti to replenish its
naval supplies. Along with the other navies operating in the Gulf of Aden, the
PLAN regularly visits Djibouti to stock up on food, other perishables, and water
when deployed on counter-piracy operations.101 Increasing PLAN presence and
operations in the Indian Ocean, however, have alarmed India that made the latter
willing to cooperate with other naval powers to address this potential security
challenge.

The Trump Administration and the Revival of the QUAD

The Trump Administration’s initial moves in East Asia unsettled America’s


allies and friends. Firstly, President Donald Trump immediately announced the
U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Secondly, the new
defense secretary, James Mattis, in his testimony to the U.S. Congress, declared
that the Trump Administration would not use the Obama Administration’s term
“rebalancing” or “pivoting” to Asia because it implied that the U.S. was turning
away from its defense obligations in other parts of the world.102 However, this did
not mean that the Trump Administration would shift America’s focus away from
Asia.
Early in its term, the Trump Administration noted that Asia’s economic
dynamism generated by China’s emergence as a great power in East Asia co-
18 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

exists with a number of specific security challenges in Northeast Asia, the Korean
Peninsula, the thorny China-Taiwan relationship, and the tense South China
Sea imbroglio that included unresolved territorial disputes, competition to
secure marine resources, and freedom of navigation issues that present complex
challenges to regional stability and American security interests.103 It realized that
prudence in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy in East Asia requires taking into
account the broad trends of Asia’s economic dynamism, China’s rising power and
its predecessor’s rebalancing strategy as the new administration grapple with new
and emerging regional security challenges.
Consequently, President Trump found it necessary to reinvigorate U.S.
engagement in the Asia-Pacific to fulfill his campaign promise to “Make America
Great Again.” Possessing the most powerful navy in the world and considered
as the leading maritime trading nation, the U.S. has maintained a significant
economic, diplomatic, and strategic presence in the region since the end of the
Second World War. In the first months of the Trump Administration, White House
officials took a deep and serious examination of American strategic interests and
engagement in East Asia—including at some of the policies it inherited from the
Obama Administration’s rebalancing strategy. Conscious that certain strategic
developments in the region could harm U.S. security interests, the Trump
Administration found it prudent to maintain, and further enhance U.S. strategic
engagement in the region. Administration officials took note of the Obama
Administration’s calculation that that the Asia-Pacific had become “a key driver
of global politics” and “the rebalancing is a means for a sustained and coherent
U.S. long-term strategy toward the region.”104 This requires continuing assertion of
America’s leadership role in Asia and projecting its naval power to counter-balance
China’s pervasive regional influence.105
Consequently, with regard to U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific,
President Trump positioned actions “to strengthen the U.S. military and deploying
it appropriately in the East and South China Seas,” as part of its strategies for
trade negotiations with China, and through this “discourage Chinese adventurism
that imperils American interest in Asia.”106 The Trump Administration’s current
foreign policy behavior in East Asia reflects continuity rather than discontinuity
with the previous administration’s rebalancing policy. The trips to East Asia by
Secretary Mattis and later, by Vice-President Mike Pence were aimed to shore up
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 19

American’s security ties with Japan and South Korea. Both officials also conveyed
to America’s allies and competitors in the region that the U.S. stand firm against
North Korea’s nuclear saber-rattling and China’s territorial expansion in the South
China Sea; and that despite President Trump’s rhetoric about ‘America First’ policy,
his administration will not renege on American security commitments in Asia.107
Interestingly, Vice President Pence stressed that the North Korean regime represents
“the most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security in the Asia Pacific and
all options are on the table in dealing with this threat.”108 He and Secretary Mattis
also confirmed President Trump’s plan to attend three regional summits in East
Asia in late 2017.
In May 2017, the U.S. Navy conducted three separate Freedom of Navigation
Operations (FONOPs) patrols near Chinese-occupied features in the South China
Sea. The USS Dewey sailed near the Chinese occupied Mischief Reef on 25 May. In
July, the USS Stethem conducted a FONOP in the Paracels to challenge the excessive
maritime claims by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. This was followed by two U.S.
B-1 Lancer bombers from Guam that flew over the South China Sea as a freedom of
navigation flight. In August, the USS John S. McCain conducted another FONOP
off Mischief Reef despite warning from a Chinese frigate asking the ship to leave
Chinese waters.109 The U.S. Seventh Fleet’s conduct of FONOPs in the South China
Sea reflected a consistency with the Obama Administration’s strategic commitment
to reinforce the rules-based order through naval power.110
In June 2017, during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Secretary Mattis
announced that the U.S. military is pushing ahead of its rebalance of military
forces to the Pacific. Six out of the ten US Navy ships, 55 percent of the Army, and
two-thirds of the U.S. Marine Corps are assigned to PACOM.111 He averred that
“security is the foundation of prosperity, and the U.S. will continue to strengthen
(its) military capabilities in the region. The majority of the Navy and the Air Force
are deployed in the Asia-Pacific region.”112 As a veiled warning to China, he asserted:
“We oppose countries militarizing artificial islands, and enforcing maritime claims
unsupported by international law. We cannot and we will not accept unilateral,
coercive changes to the status quo (in the South and East China Seas).113
In the same month, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) released its annual
report on China’s increasing expansion in the South China Sea by concluding
that China will be able to use its expanded land features in the disputed waters
20 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

“as persistent civil-military bases to enhance its long-term presence in the South
China Sea significantly.”114 As a result, U.S. PACOM Commander Admiral Harry B.
Harris admitted that “The Indo—Asia-Pacific region remains a top priority for the
United States. The U.S. remains laser-focused on the region because our interests
there are enduring. U.S. key engagements with the region…prove our actions back
these words.”115 All these actions revealed the Trump Administration’s view that
sustaining U.S. strategic presence in the Asia-Pacific and working with U.S. allies
and security partners enable it to shape China’s choices and make it pay a price for
aggressive actions that violate international rules and norms.116
On 18 December 2017, the Trump Administration released the “National
Security Strategy (NSS),” which provides the overview for his administration’s
national security threats and the blueprint on how it will address these threats. In
January 2017, the DOD released the unclassified portion of the “National Defense
Strategy (NDS),” which describes how the defense department’s strategic goals and
capabilities will be directed to support the NSS’ objectives. The two documents
have been described as more realist, Darwinian, and pessimistic as they advance
the view that “great power competition has returned with China and Russian
beginning to reassert their influence regionally and globally.”117 The NSS and NDS
point out that great power competition, not terrorism, has emerged as the central
challenge to U.S. security strategy and prosperity. Both documents claimed that
two regional powers, China and Russia, want to shape a world consistent with their
authoritarian values, and in the process, replace the free and open order that has
enabled global security and prosperity since the Second World War II.118
The NSS and the NDS discuss U.S. strategy on a regional basis. The NDS
characterized China as a revisionist power whose military modernization agenda
seeks “Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near term and the displacement of
the U.S. to achieve a global preeminence in the future”. It argues that there is a real
possibility that in the near future (likely decades) China may be able to surpass
the U.S. and then harness its capital to develop superior military technology that
can enable it to overthrow the current international system. The NSS specifically
mentions the Indo-Pacific region as an important region where the U.S. must
maintain robust and powerful forward-deployed forces, strengthen its alliances
and help build the capabilities of its security partners.
Clearly, the two documents are declarations by the U.S. to confront China in a
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 21

highly competitive great game in the Indo-Pacific region.119 A dynamic great power
game between the U.S. and China will generate a very volatile regional security
environment. Pushing the U.S. out of the Indo-Pacific region is no easy task, and the
military component of China is primarily naval in nature.120 The U.S. has observed
that in recent years, China has deployed its growing military capabilities in an
effort to exert control over virtually all of the waters and resources off its eastern
seaboard. The U.S., however, does not intend to be displaced by China’s growing
naval power and thus, American sea-power will have to take the responsibility of
defeating China should it choose the path of armed conflict.121
The NSS provides for the deployment of robust and powerful forward-deployed
U.S. forces, the build-up of America’s alliances, and the need to help build its
security partners’ naval capabilities. The NDS categorically states the need for the
U.S. to prepare for war to deter conflict in three key regions: Indo-Pacific, Europe,
and the Middle East Asia.122 In the Indo-Pacific region, the NDS call for the U.S.
to strengthen its alliances and partnerships in the region to a networked security
architecture capable of deterring aggression, maintaining stability, and ensuring
free access to common domains.123 It calls for the U.S. to bring together bilateral
and multilateral security relationships to preserve the free and open international
system.124

The Revival of the QUAD

The QUAD was revived in Manila on the sides of the East Asian Summit in mid-
November 2017. The four-corner security dialogue was revived with a senior
official-level interaction with a hint that could eventually become a ministerial-
level consultation in the near future. Upon the initiative of Australia and the U.S.,
the QUAD took shape again as a four-cornered dialogue, emerging from a phoenix-
like creature after a 10-year dormancy signaling the first multilateral pushback
against an expansionist China. The revival of the association stemmed from the
four members’ view that Chinese behavior since 2008, with regard to territorial and
maritime disputes the South China Sea, the terms and strategic impact of OBOR,
the lack of reciprocity in economic relations, or the use of economic leverage, has
increased concerns among their respective governments.125 There was a consensus
22 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

among the four states that while Beijing has expected reassurance and wants others
to respect its sensitivities and aspirations, it hasn’t returned the favor.126 The revival
of the association was meant to send a diplomatic warning to China that it should
not underestimate its members’ legitimate concern about its strategic behavior
in recent years.127 The QUAD aims to impress on China that there is “strength in
numbers.”128
The QUAD’s goal is not the containment of China nor alliance formation. The
revived QUAD is geared towards a more comprehensive partnership among the
four member states less explicitly focused on defense issues.129 Rather, its goal is
to ensure that the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean remain free and open for
multilateral trade and commerce.130 It emphasizes the importance of rules-based
order, connectivity ventures that are not fueled by predatory financing, and that
territorial disputes are resolved peacefully and in accordance with international
law. Instead of an alliance engaged in military activities, its members plan to use the
QUAD as a venue to raise their collective voice about the importance of cooperation,
especially when it concerns the freedom of navigation, maritime enforcement
capabilities, and the promotion of international standards in infrastructure and
ports.131
They also plan to use the QUAD as a useful platform to share their respective
assessment of Chinese capabilities, intentions, and formulate ways of dealing with
them. As a platform among the four powers, they can discuss maritime security
in the light of existing cooperation among their navies, the need to ensure the
freedom of navigation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, energy security,
regional capacity-building, and finally an alternative regional connectivity
initiative to China’s OBOR. They can also institutionalize the QUAD so that they
can better coordinate their policies and pursue broader collaboration with smaller
powers that are threatened by China’s expansion in the Indo-Pacific region like
Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.132 Although these four states currently
reject any suggestion that the QUAD will become an Asian NATO or an alliance
in the making, they believe that that if they would not collectively confront China’s
efforts to effect a revision of the current territorial and maritime arrangement, the
next five years could enhance China’s geo-strategic position. The result will be the
unravelling of the current liberal international order in the Indo-Pacific region and
its replacement by a Chinese-led illiberal/authoritarian regional order.133
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 23

The Indo-Pacific Region as the 21st Century Geopolitical Region

The Trump Administration’s decision to engage China in a strategic completion,


along with the revival of the QUAD, led to the use of the geostrategic term Indo-
Pacific to replace the old Asia-Pacific. The term Indo-Pacific is now increasingly
used to replace the old geopolitical term “Asia-Pacific.” Consequently, the common
term “Asia-Pacific” is now hardly mentioned and instead, the term “Indo-Pacific”
is commonly used in policy circles. Increasingly, the international relations of
the Asia-Pacific are now connected with the Indian Ocean part of Asia creating a
larger and more dynamic regional system. Rather than restricted by the old term
Asia-Pacific region, the term Indo-Pacific region underscores the expansion of the
ongoing geostrategic contest between China and the QUAD.
The development of the concept of the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical region is
currently reflecting major changes in terms of economic development, strategic
movements, and diplomatic maneuvering among the major powers, especially
if any one of the great powers compete with the others in order to form its own
sphere of influence to take advantage of this dynamic geopolitical region. As a case
in point, throughout the Indo-Pacific region, states are investing in modernizing
their armed forces—particularly their maritime forces as they upgrade their naval
hardware by investing in cutting-edge defense technology and replacing planes
and ships that are 30 or 40 years old.134 Emerging economic and security linkages
between the major powers in the Western Pacific/Asia-Pacific region and the Indian
Ocean form the fulcrum of single strategic system in the Indo-Pacific region.135
China’s emergence as an economic and military power has transformed Asia’s
strategic landscape in a matter of ten years; and the QUAD’s member states’
balancing approach in their foreign policies are the main drivers for the creation
of this 21st century geopolitical region called the Indo-Pacific. China’s emergence
that has generated two very interrelated strategic developments. First, in the face
of the uncertainties generated by China’s growing economic and military muscle,
countries in the region have accepted the geopolitical reality that the U.S is an
external power in Asia. However, its role as an off-shore strategic balancer with the
ability to deter the use of force by any powerful regional country in the maritime
domain has made it a central component of the regional security architecture. The
term Indo-Pacific region implies that on the basis its powerful naval presence in
24 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

the region, most countries in the region have accepted that the U.S. is integral to
Asian security. The Indo-Pacific sea-lanes are crucial parts of the global commons
that the U.S. has to protect to maintain the international order as a whole, and
the region is home to many important U.S. allies and security partners. However,
China’s rapid rise as an economic and military power has generated threats to this
region.
Second, the Asia-Pacific is geographically large, densely populated, diverse area
with a range of security concerns raging from terrorism to traditional geostrategic
challenges. This expanded geopolitical region now faces both long-standing and
new security challenges generated by China’s emergence as a regional power in
the Asia-Pacific and growing presence in the Indian Ocean. The earth’s two largest
bodies of water—the Indian and the Pacific Ocean—are now a new arena for
the competition for territory, resources, and influence. It is likely that any future
strategic crises in this region will be triggered and/or settled at sea.136 Consequently,
this resulted to increasing linkages between the two regions in the number of
bilateral security-related initiatives among the great powers.
For example, Japan and India have engaged each other in several security
dialogues and discussions on China’s growing naval presence in East China Sea,
South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Japanese and Indian guards have engaged
in joint maritime training exercises.137 Since 2012, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense
Force and the Indian Navy have engaged in the Japan-India Navy Exercises.138 In
mid-2016, both countries agreed to create a bilateral framework for the discussion
of maritime issues.139 Japan has also established a special security partnership with
Australia and both powers have participated in multilateral security institutions that
have expanded the Asia-Pacific region into the Indian Ocean from the perspective
of traditional security challenges. Japan and Australia are middle powers in the
Indo-Pacific that are treaty allies of the U.S. and members of the Democratic
Security Diamond (DSD). According to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the DSD’s
immediate goal is to prevent the South China Sea from becoming a “Beijing Lake
- a sea deep enough for the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy (PLAN) to base their
nuclear-powered attack submarines, capable of launching missile with nuclear
missiles.”140 There has also been increasing security cooperation between the two
countries located at the opposite ends of the Indo-Pacific region: the U.S. and India.
The U.S. and Indian navies have been conducting various naval exercises in and out
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 25

of the Indian Ocean, and India is becoming the biggest buyer of U.S. weaponry.141
All these developments, along with the formation of the QUAD, made it exigent
for the maritime “underbelly of Asia” — the Indo-Pacific — to be regarded as a
singular and integrated geopolitical construct as region, wherein lie tremendous
geo-economic opportunities as well as daunting security challenges, not only for
Asia, but also for the rest of the wider world.142

Implications for the Philippines

From 2011 to 2016, the Aquino Administration pursued a balancing policy on


China as it promoted closer security cooperation with the U.S. This policy can be
traced back to 2011 when then President Benigno Aquino III stood up to China’s
expansive claim and heavy-handed behavior in the South China Sea. He redirected
the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) focus from domestic security to
territorial defense, fostered deeper Philippine-U.S. security arrangements; acquired
American military equipment; and sought from Washington an unequivocal
security guarantee under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). The most salient
component of this foreign policy is the signing of the EDCA, which provides
American forward-deployed forces strategic rotational presence in Philippine
territory, as well as extensive access to Philippine military facilities. The agreement
has been forged to strategically constrain China, which has stepped up its territorial
foothold in the South China Sea. The Aquino Administration also filed a claim
against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements and actions are undoing former
President Aquino’s geopolitical agenda of balancing China’s expansive claim in the
South China Sea. He distances his country from its long-standing treaty ally; while
moving closer to a regional power bent on effecting a territorial revision in the
East Asia. He has also set aside the 2016 PCA’s decision on the South China Sea
dispute. His maritime security policy is aimed at appeasing China, in contrast to
then President Aquino’s balancing strategy. The Duterte Administration believes
that its appeasement policy on China is worth pursuing because its makes the
country a beneficiary of the latter’s emergence as a global economic power.
However, by appeasing an expansionist power, the Duterte Administration is
26 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

becoming complicit to China’s long-term strategy to push the U.S. out of the East
Asia as it builds a maritime great wall in the South and East China Seas. This will
surely upset the current balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region. Furthermore,
by facilitating China’s efforts to project its maritime power in the Western Pacific,
the current administration is oblivious to the fact that if China gains control of the
regional maritime commons, this will adversely affect the Philippines’ territorial
and long-term strategic and economic interests as an archipelagic state, and
consequently, the security of the Indo-Pacific region.
The revival of the QUAD and the formation of the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical
region have the following implications on contemporary Philippine foreign policy:

1 Possible Erosion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)


centrality in Regional Security Architecture—One of the bedrocks of Philippine
foreign policy is its membership in the ASEAN, and the organization’s centrality in
the regional security architecture. The revival of the QUAD and the expansion of
the geopolitical competition between its members and China will exert tremendous
strategic and diplomatic pressure on ASEAN that might effectively weaken its
ability to play a central role in regional security. It might also divide its members
to those who will support China and those who will side with the QUAD. It will be
necessary for the Philippines and other ASEAN member states to find the necessary
means to strengthen the regional organization’s cohesion in the light of changing
geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region.

2 Constraint on the Philippines’ Tendency to Tilt Closer to China—The


Philippines has close economic and security relations with three members of
the QUAD. The Philippines has a mutual defense treaty with the U.S. Japan and
Australia are two security partners of the Philippines. Japan is the Philippines’
most important economic partner in terms of trade and Official Development
Assistance (ODA). These countries are silently but warily observing the Duterte
Administration’s efforts to appease China. If they will determine that the
Philippines’ appeasement policy on China will undermine the regional balance
of power and their interests, they might collectively constrain the Philippines’ tilt
towards China by applying their respective diplomatic, strategic and economic
clout in the country.
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 27

3 A Viable Tool for a Renewed Equi-balancing Gambit—If the Philippines will


craft and adopt a more nuanced foreign policy based on equi-balancing China with
the other major powers in the region, the QUAD will provide it the viable means
to adopt this policy. In applying this strategy, a minor power fosters its diplomatic
linkages and economic activities with two or more competing major powers to a
level whereby it is able to influence the major powers’ policies yet insulate itself
from undue external influence. Patterned after Thailand’s 19th century policy of
balancing the interests of its neighbors, it involves the small or weak power accepting,
facilitating, and pitting the big powers against each other in an international
situation where they will eventually square off. This provides the small state not
only the ability to maneuver and survive, but also the chance to use the situation to
advance its own political and strategic advantage. It is no accident that the QUAD
was revived in Manila last year. The four major powers were sending a message
to the Philippines that there is now a current push back against growing China’s
pervasive influence and assertiveness in the region, and that the country has other
foreign policy choices other than bandwagoning with or appeasing an expansion
power. Fostering closer economic and diplomatic relations with the members of
the QUAD could provide a viable option to a policy of appeasement on China. The
QUAD is showing to the Philippines that there is strength in numbers in order to
survive and strive in a rapidly changing and challenging Indo-Pacific region.
28 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

1
Kanwal Sibal, “The Value of the Quad Plus,” in The Quad Plus: Towards a Shared Strategic Vision for the
Indo-Pacific (eds.) Walter Lohman, Ravi, K. Sawhney, Andrew Davies, and Ippeita Nishida (New Delhi: Wisdom
Tree, 2015). p. 1.
2
Sibal, op. cit. p. 2.
3
Daniel Twining, “Building U.S. Partnerships for the 21st Century: The Case of (and for) India,” U.S.
Alliances and Partnerships at the Center of Global Power (eds) Ashley J. Tellis, Abraham M. Denmark, and Greg
Chaffin, (Washington, D.C: Donohue Group, 2014). p. 165.
4
Ibid. p. 165.
5
Colin Flint, Introduction to Geopolitics (New York; London: Routledge, 2012).p. 31.
6
Ibid.p. 3.
7
Saul B. Cohen, “Geostrategic and Geopolitical Regions,” The Structure of Political Geography (eds.) Roger
E. Kasperson, Julian V. Mingi (Chicago: USA: Aldnine Publishing Company, 1969). p. 178.
8
Ibid. p. 178.
9
Flint, op. cit. p. 3.
10
Rear Admiral Paul Becker, “The Indo-Pacific: Redrawing the Map to Counter China,” The Cipher Brief (12
January 2018). p. 1.
11
Arvind Kumar, “Challenges to the Indo-Pacific Security Architecture: Emerging Role of India,” Indian
Foreign Affairs Journal (April-June 2014). p. 131.
12
Ibid. p. 131.
13
Martin Ira Glassner, Political Geography (Singapore: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1993). p. 254.
14
Tetsuo Kotani, “Can the Indo-Pacific Compete with China?” The Japan Times (10 January 2018). p. 2.
15
Glassner, op. cit. p. 2.
16
Ibid. p. 2.
17
Kotani, op. cit. p. 2.
18
The National Institute for Defense Studies, East Asian Strategic Review 2017(Tokyo, Japan: The Japan
Times, 2017). p. 41.
19
Ajin Choi and William T. Tow, “Bridging Alliances and Asia-Pacific Multilateralism,” in Bilateralism,
Multilateralism and Asia-Pacific Security: Contending Cooperation (eds.) William Tow and Brendan Taylor
(London and New York: Routledge, 2013). p. 27.
20
Ibid. p. 27.
21
Bates Gill, “The U.S.-Australia Alliance: A Deepening Partnership in Emerging Asia,” U.S. Alliances and
Partnerships at the Center of Global Power (eds) Ashley J. Tellis, Abraham M. Denmark, and Greg Chaffin,
(Washington, D.C: Donohue Group, 2014). p. 106.
22
Ibid. p. 106.
23
Choi and Tow, op. cit. p. 28.
24
Sibal, op. cit. p. 3.
25
Kuo, op. cit. p. 2.
26
Ibid. p. 2.
27
Ibid. p. 3.
28
Andrew Davies, “Democracy and Regional Security: An Australian Perspective,” The QUAD Plus: Towards
a Shared Strategic Vision for the Indo-Pacific (eds.) Walter Lohman, Ravi, K. Sawhney, Andrew Davies, and
Ippeita Nishida (New Delhi: Wisdom Tree, 2015). p. 2.
29
Ibid. p. 14.
30
Choi and Tow, op. cit. p. 37.
31
Sreemoy Talukdar, “Quadrilateral Dialogue: As India, U.S., Japan, Australia Converge after 10-year Hiatus,
Crucial Questions Remain Unanswered.” FirstPost (13 April 2018) p. 2.
32
Ibid. p. 2.
33
Christopher H. Sharman, China Moves Out: Stepping Stones toward a New Maritime Strategy (Washington,
D.C.: National Defense University, April 2015). p. 4.
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 29

34
Terence Kelly, David G. Compert, Duncan Long, Smarter Power, Stronger Partners Volume I: Exploiting
U.S. Advantages to Prevent Aggression (Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2016). p. 80.
35
Aaron L. Friedberg, “Buckling Beijing: An Alternative U.S. China Policy,” Foreign Policy (September/
October 2012). 91, 5. p. 53.
36
Ibid. p. 53.
37
Roger Cliff, Mark Burles, Michael S. Chase, Derek Eaton, and Kevin L. Pollpeter, Entering the Dragon’s
Lair: Chinese Anti-Access Strategies and their Implications for the United States (Santa Monica, CA: Rand
Corporation, 2007). p. xvii.
38
National Institute for Defense Studies, NIDS China Security 2014: Diversification of Roles of the People’s
Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police (Tokyo: National Institute for Defense Studies, 2015). p. 2.
39
National Institute for Defense Studies, NIDS China Security Report 2014 (Tokyo: National Institute for
Defense Studies, 2015). p. 3.
40
Ibid. p. 3.
41
David Scott, China Stands Up: The PRC and the International System (Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2007).
p. 104.
42
Michael D. Swaine, “The Real Challenge in the Pacific: A Response to “How to Deter China,” Foreign
Affairs 94, 3 (May/June 2015). pp. 146-147.
43
Peter Dutton, “Three Disputes and Three Objectives: China and the South China Sea,” Naval War College
Review (Autumn 2011) 54, 4. p. 6.
44
For details on China’s Training Exercises in its surrounding waters see National Institute for Defense
Studies, NIDS China Security Report (Tokyo: National Institute for Defense Studies, 2011). pp. 14-21.
45
See the International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011: The Annual Assessment
of Global Military Capabilities and Defence Economics (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies,
2011). p. 196.
46
Yoichi Kato, “China’s Naval Expansion in the Western Pacific,” Global Asia 5, 4 (Winter 2010). p. 19.
47
Sharman, op. cit. p. 6.
48
Bonnie Glasser and Jacqueline Vitello, “China Makes Strides with AIIB and A Great Wall of Sand,”
Comparative Connections: A Triannual E-Journal on East Asian Bilateral Relations (May 2015). p. 5.
49
Ibid. p. 7.
50
Robert Sutter and Chin-hao Huang, “Limited Moderation amid Pressure and Complaints” Comparative
Connections: A Triannual E-Journal on East Asian Bilateral Relations (January 2016). p. 4.
51
National Institute for Defense Studies, NIDS China Security Report 2016 (Tokyo, Japan: National Institute
for Defense Studies, 2016). p. 16.
52
Eliot A. Cohen, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force (New York:
Basic Books, 2016). pp 102.
53
Kelly et al, op. cit. pp. 79-80.
54
Mark E. Manyin et al “Pivot to the Pacific? The Obama Administration’s “Rebalancing” toward Asia,”
Congressional Research Service (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 28 March 2012). p. 2.
55
Ibid. p.4.
56
Thomas J. Christensen, “Obama and Asia: Confronting the China Challenge,” Foreign Affairs (September/
October 2015) 94, 5. p. 28.
57
Swaine, op. cit. p. 183.
58
Kurt M. Campbell and Ely Ratner, “Far Eastern Promises: Why Washington Should Focus on Asia,”
Foreign Affairs 93.3 (May/June 2014). p. 106.
59
Salinas, op. cit. p. 1.
60
Asia News Monitor, “Laos/United States: In Laos, Obama to Reiterate U.S. Commitment to Asia Re-
balance,” Asia News Monitor (07 September 2016). 1. http://0-search.proquest.com.lib1000.dlsu.edu.ph/
docview/1816881525?accountid=28547
61
Quoted from Sheldon Simon, “U.S.-Southeast Relations: Rebalancing,” Comparative Connections: A
Triannual E-Journal on East Asia Bilateral Relations (January 2012).14, 1. p. 1.
30 The revival of the quad and the emergence of the

62
T.J. Pempel, “The 2012 United States Election and the Implications for East Asia,” The Pacific Review 26,
2 (2013). p. 120.
63
Simon, op. cit. pp. 7-8.
64
Campbell and Ratner, op. cit. p. 1.
65
Sheldon W. Simon, “The U.S. Rebalance and Southeast Asia,” Asian Survey 55, 3 (November-December
2015). p. 574.
66
Salinas, op. cit. p. 1.
67
Ash Carter, “The Rebalancing and Asia-Pacific: Building a Principled Security Network,” Foreign Affair 95,
6 (November/December 2016).p. 68.
68
Department of Defense, Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy (Washington, DC: Department of
Defense, 2015). p. 20.
69
Ibid. p. 20.
70
Carter, op. cit. p. 68.
71
Idrees Ali and David Brunnstrom, “The U.S. Navy is Sending More Ships to East Asia amid Rising Tensions
with China,” Reuters (June 14, 2016). p.1.
72
Wyatt Olson, “Initiative Gives 3rd Fleet Greater Autonomy in Western Pacific,” Stars and Stripes (April 27,
2016). pp. 1-2.
73
Ali and Brunnstrom, op. cit. p. 1.
74
Department of Defense, op. cit. p. 22.
75
Simon, op. cit. p. 772.
76
Ibid. p. 21.
77
William T. Tow and Satu Limaye, “What’s China Got to Do with It? U.S. Alliances, Partnerships in the Asia-
Pacific,” Asian Politics and Policy (January 2016) 8, 1. pp. 12-13.
78
Sheldon Simon, “U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations: Augmented Presence,” Comparative Connections: A
Triannual E-Journal on East Asian Bilateral Relations 18, 2 (September 2016).p. 55.
79
Ibid. p. 48.
80
Department of Defense, op. cit. p. 26.
81
Carter, op. cit. p. 72.
82
National Institute of Defense Studies, NIDS China Security Report 2016: The Expanding Scope of PLA
Activities and the PLA Strategy (Tokyo, Japan: National Institute of Defense Studies, 2016). pp. 10-15.
83
See Robert D. Blackwell and Jennifer M. Harris, War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft
(Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 2016). p. 128.
84
Ibid. pp. 129-151.
85
The National Institute for Defense Studies, East Asian Strategic Review 2017 (Tokyo, Japan: The Japan
Times Press, 2017). p.79.
86
East Asian Strategic Review 2016, pp. 119-120
87
East Asian Strategic Review 2017, p.77.
88
National Institute for Defense Studies, East Asian Strategic Review 2015 (Tokyo: The Japan Times, Limited,
2015). p. 112.
89
National Institute for Defense Studies, East Asian Strategy Review 2016, p. 19.
90
National Institute for Defense Studies, East Asian Strategy Review 2015, p. 115.
91
Ibid. p. 77.
92
Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape the Thucydides Trap? (Boston; New
York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017). p. 125.
93
Joel Wuthnow, Chinese Perspectives on Belt and Road Initiative: Strategic Rationales, Risks, and
Implications (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 2017). p 27.
94
Ibid. p. 12.
95
Ibid. p. 18.
96
East Asian Strategic Review 2017, p. 86.
97
Ibid. p. 43.
98
Ibid. p. 43.
indo-pacific as the 21st century geopolitical region 31

99
Christopher Devary and Ross Rustici, Not an Idea We have to Shun: Chinese Overseas Basing Requirement
in the 21st Century (Washington: National Defense University, 2014). p. 23.
100
Kenneth Allen, Philipp C. Saunders, and John Chen, Chinese Military Diplomacy, 2003—2016: Trends
and Implications (Washington, DC: National Defense University, 2017). p. 42.
101
Devary and Rustici, op. cit., p.
102
Michael Gordon, “Mattis Tries to Mend Alliances in Asia as Trump Sends Mixed Signals at Hone,” New
York Times (06 February 2017). p. 1. https://0-search.proquest.com.lib1000.dlsu.edu.ph/docview/1865151717/
fulltext/936B332C094A4D3FPQ/31?accountid=28547
103
James J. Przystup and Phillip C. Saunders, Asia and the Trump Administration: Challenges, Opportunities,
and a Road Ahead (Washington D.C.: National Defense University Press, June 2017). pp. 12-13.
104
Quoted from Julianne Smith, Erik Brattberg, and Rachel Rizzo, Transatlantic Security Cooperation in
the Asia-Pacific: Recommendations for the Next Administration (Washington, D.C.: Center for New American
Security, October 2016). p. 2.
105
See Martin S. Indyk, Kenneth G. Lieberthal, and Michael E. O’ Hanlon, “Scoring Obama’s Foreign Policy:
A Progressive Pragmatist Tries to Bend History,” Foreign Affairs (May/June 2012) 91, 3. p. 33.
106
National Institute of Defense Studies, “East Asian Strategic Review 2017.” p. 227.
107
Ibid. p. 1.
108
Ralph A. Cossa and Brad Glosserman, “The Pivot is Dead, Long Live the Pivot,” Comparative Connections:
A Triannual E-Journal on East Asian Bilateral Relations 19, 1 (May 2017). p. 3.
109
Bonnie Glaser and Collin Norkiewicz,, “North Korea and Trade Dominate the Agenda,” Comparative
Connections: A Triannual E-Journal On East Asian Bilateral Relations 19, 2 (September 2017). P. 24.
110
Ibid. p. 25.
111
Seth Robson, “Pivot to Asia will Remain a Priority for U.S. Military, Experts Say,” TCA Regional
News (22 June 2017). p. 1. https://0-search.proquest.com.lib1000.dlsu.edu.ph/docview/1912405484/
fulltext/936B332C094A4D3FPQ/60?accountid=28547
112
Jim Garmone “Mattis Lays Out U.S. Strategy in Asia-Pacific Region,” U.S. Department of Defense
Information (2 June 2017). p. 1. https://0-search.proquest.com.lib1000.dlsu.edu.ph/docview/1905583390/
fulltext/76637D24A5A6478BPQ/852?accountid=28547
113
Ibid. p. 1.
114
Ibid. p. 24.
115
Jim Garamone,” PACOM Commander Lists Threats, Discusses Strategy in Indo-Pacific, Department of
Defense (DOD) News, Defense Media Activity (28 July 2017). p 1.
116
Przystuo and Saunders, op. cit. p. 20.
117
See Ian Storey, “The Trump Administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy and 2018 National Defense
Strategy: Implications for Southeast Asia,” Perspective (21 February 2018), 9. p. 3 and National Institute for
Defense Studies, NIDS China Security Report 2018 (Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Times, 2018).p. 33.
118
Ibid. p. 3.
119
Bryan McGrath, “The National Security Strategy’s Implications for Sea-power,” Texas National Security
Review (21 December 2017). p. 2.
120
Ibid. p. 2.
121
Ibid. p. 2.
122
Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America
(Washington, D.C.: Department of Defense, 2017). p. 9.
123
Ibid. p. 9.
124
Ibid. p. 9.
125
Tanvi Madan, “The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the QUAD,” War on the Rocks (16 November 2017). p. 4.
126
Ibid. p. 4.
127
James Curran, “All Shot and No Powder in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue,” East Asia Forum (28
January 2018). p. 2.
128
Ibid. p. 2.
32 The revival of the quad

129
David Brewster, “How Australia Can Foster a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” War on the Rocks (8 March
2018). pp. 1.
130
Ibid. pp. 1-4
131
Ibid. pp. 2-3.
132
Chellaney, op. cit. p.2.
133
Ibid. p. 1.
134
Forum Staff, “Maritime Modernization: Geopolitical Forces Propel Military Upgrades across the Indo-
Pacific,” Indo-Pacific Defense Forum (2016) 41, 4.pp. 24-31.
135
Kumar, op. cit. p. 135.
136
Chellany, op. cit. p. 1.
137
Thomas F. Lynch and James J. Przystup. India-Japan Strategic Cooperation and Implications for U.S.
Strategy in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 2017). pp. 20-21.
138
Ibid. pp. 20-21.
139
Ibid. p. 21.
140
Shinzo Abe, “Security Diamond to Free Asia’s Sea Lanes,” New Straits Times (29 December 2012). p.1 https://0-
search.proquest.com.lib1000.dlsu.edu.ph/docview/1265706455/fulltext/319748AC30D14FD2PQ/8?accountid=28547
141
Sarosh Bana, “Rebalancing with India: India and U.S. Relations Strengthen in the Face of Chinese
Aggression,” Indo-Pacific Defense Forum (2017) 42, 1. pp. 28-35.
142
Mercy Kuo, “The Origin of Indo-Pacific as Geopolitical Construct,” The Diplomat (24 January 2018). p. 1.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ADR Institute gratefully acknowledges all those who have extended their support,
cooperation, and commitment in the development of this project. This publication
would not have materialized without their help.
We are fortunate enough to engage with insightful persons from different
sectors, namely: the academe, public and private sectors, as well as civil society
organizations, who have shared their expertise and have actively contributed to
discussions in various fora.
We would also like to thank Prof. Victor Andres ‘Dindo’ Manhit, President of
the ADR Institute, for his leadership, vision, and guidance in making this endeavor
possible.
Last but not the least, we would like to thank the following for their hard work
and dedication, and for working tirelessly towards the completion of this project:
Our design consultant, Ms. Carol Manhit, for the publication lay-out and cover
design;
And the rest of the ADRi team headed by Executive Director, Atty. Katrina
Clemente-Lua, Deputy Executive Director for Programs, Ms. Ma. Claudette
Guevara, Senior Research Associate, Ms. Weslene Uy, and External Affairs and
Social Media Associate, Ms. Krystyna Dy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Renato Cruz De Castro is a full professor


in the International Studies Department, De La
Salle University, Manila, and holds the Charles Lui
Chi Keung Professorial Chair in China Studies. In
2016, he was a U.S.-ASEAN Fulbright Initiative
Researcher from the Philippines, based in the East-
West Center in Washington. He is an alumnus of
the Daniel Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security
Studies in Hawaii, U.S.A.

In 2009, Dr. De Castro became the U.S. State


Department ASEAN Research Fellow from the
Philippines and was based in the Political Science
Department of Arizona State University. He
earned his Ph.D. from the Government and International Studies Department of
the University of South Carolina as a Fulbright Scholar in 2001, and obtained his
B.A. and two master’s degrees from the University of the Philippines.

Professor De Castro has conducted several courses on International Relations


and Security Studies in the National Defense College and Foreign Service Institute.
He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Albert Del Rosario Institute for
Strategic and International Studies (ADR Institute).

A consultant in the National Security Council of the Philippines during the


Aquino Administration, Professor De Castro’s research interests include Philippine-
U.S. security relations, Philippine defense and foreign policies, U.S. defense and
foreign policies in East Asia, and the international politics of East Asia.

He has written over 80 articles on international relations and security that


have been published in a number of scholarly journals and edited works in the
Philippines, South Korea, Canada, Malaysia, France, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany,
the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.

Professor De Castro is the Convenor of ADR Institute’s National Security and


East Asian Affairs Program.