There’s a general consensus in Washington that Beijing is the number one threat to US global hegemony. This has led some administration officials to consider forming a NATO type alliance in Asia to counter a rising China.
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun recently suggested that the informal partnership between the US, Australia, Japan, and India could be the beginning of a NATO-style alliance in the Indo-Pacific.
The four countries, known as the Quad, already regularly hold military drills together in the Pacific. On August 31st, Biegun spoke at the US-India strategic dialogue and discussed the possibility of forming such an alliance with the Quad.
“It is a reality that the Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures. They don’t have anything of the fortitude of NATO or the European Union,” Biegun said. “There is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalize a structure like this.”
On Friday, senior officials from the Quad held a virtual meeting, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Japan’s newly appointed Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs released a statement on the Quad meeting. “The officials reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on shared values and principles and respect for international law,” the statement said.