Deep Dive: The Quad - An Interview with Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia


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In this episode, Garrison is joined by former India Ambassador and Distinguished Fellow from the prestigious Gateway House (Indian Council on Global Relations), Mr. Rajiv Bhatia.

The ambassador carefully defines and contrasts Indo-Pacific as a strategic concept (apart from the now increasingly outdated Asia-Pacific). He then defines The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (The Quad), and discusses its historical formation, its current strategic nature, and its future geopolitical outlook ahead of the fall summit in the US. Contrary to China’s assertions that The Quad represents an “Asian NATO”, the ambassador defines The Quad’s main goal as maintaining and expanding cooperation on international law and stability in the Indo-Pacific, aimed at constraining not containing, China. He discusses four areas of coordination for The Quad; he announces a forthcoming Gateway House report on how economic and technological coordination can be deepened across The Quad; he also touches on the broader regional cooperation with ASEAN and others. The two also detail the ambassador’s recent article in The Hindustan Times detailing the formation of a rival “Red Quad/China’s Quad” consisting of China, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran; as well as how India’s transition from the former stance of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War, to a more activist stance on guard against rivals and cooperating with democratic partners across the Indo-Pacific. They close discussing a sneak peek of the ambassador’s forthcoming third book on Africa-India relations.

Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme at Gateway House. He is a member of CII’s International Advisory Council, Trade Policy Council and Africa Committee. He is the Chair of FICCI’s Task Force on Blue Economy, and served as Chair of Core Group of Experts on BIMSTEC. He is a founding member of the Kalinga International Foundation and a member of the governing council of Asian Confluence. As Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) from 2012-15, he played a key role in strengthening India's Track-II research and outreach activities. During a 37-year innings in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), he served as Ambassador to Myanmar and Mexico and as High Commissioner to Kenya, South Africa and Lesotho. He dealt with a part of South Asia, while posted as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. A prolific columnist, he is also a regular speaker on foreign policy and diplomacy in India and abroad. He was Senior Visiting Research Fellow during 2011-13 at the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Allahabad University. His first book India in Global Affairs: Perspectives from Sapru House (KW Publishers, 2015) presented a sober and insightful view of India’s contemporary foreign policy. His second book India-Myanmar Relations: Changing Contours (Routledge, 2016) received critical acclaim. He is presently working on his third book which will deal with India-Africa relations.

Garrison Moratto is the founder and host of The New Diplomatist Podcast; he holds a M.S. of International Relations as well as a B.S. in Government: Public Administration (Summa Cum Laude) from Liberty University in the United States. He will be a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy - Foreign Policy at Liberty University beginning August 2021, focusing on U.S.-Portuguese relations.

All guest opinions are their own and not that of The New Diplomatist podcast formally. Join us on social media, read our blog on Medium and be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on your favorite podcast app. Thank you for listening.

Episode originally recorded: July 20th, 2021.

Published: July 28th, 2021

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