The Quad: US Tool to Codify Global Principles & Systems

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - The Quad: US Tool to Codify Global Principles & Systems

The American vision to lead the world in the 21st century requires unilateral dominion of the American capitalist paradigm, which is built on downsizing the role of the state, liberal market and free trade, and which, allegedly, represents “the best form of government to unleash human aspirations and guide the relations between all the world’s nations and peoples.”

In order to fulfil this vision, the US harnesses all her resources to protect and propagate her Capitalist paradigm and remove the obstacles it may face. The point at issue for America is decisive and liked to the ideology upon which she is built, and through which the Capitalist class, multinationals and pressure groups, i.e., the lobbies, control the fate of the world, its resources and riches, sometimes through soft power and other times through hard power to coerce other states to succumb to their volition.

This occurrence is clearly reflected in the approach of successive US administrations and the approach of Joe Biden who has adopted “diplomatic priority” as a tool to renovate and “modernise international institutions to make sure they are fit for purpose,” considering that strengthening America’s security is linked to her unilateral dominion over the international situation, her influence over international institutions and her shaping of the system and principles of the world order.

Although America’s foreign position is stable with no other power jostling with her over the international situation, since Russia and China do not have any military or political tendencies beyond their regional lebensraums, which may undermine American unilateral dominion, the relationship between America and China is however tinged with rivalry due to America’s endeavour to achieve absolute economic dominance; this has inevitably turned China and her transnational economic aspirations into a challenge for America in the current century. America has even amplified China’s status and ambition to the point where she has been warning against her political and economic behaviour, as per the strategy of US national security pertinent to a ”new agenda of strategic competition between world powers”, which alluded to the fact that certain powers have started to “impose their regional and international influence” and have been working seriously to challenge the American geopolitical perks and acquisitions in a bid “to exploit the free and open rules-based order and attempt to reshape the international system in its favour”. America pointed out that China and her communist party constituted nowadays the main challenge to the free world. All this was designed to justify the political and economic measures the US administration intends to adopt towards China. This was corroborated on the eve of the June 2021 G7 summit by Joe Biden who said “democracies face an existential battle against autocracies” in reference to dictatorial regimes in China and Russia in particular. It was also evidently reflected in the updated “Atlantic Charter” and its nine axes, which aims at besieging China in the first instance and then Russia, thus achieving America’s endeavours to mobilise the “democracies” behind Biden’s vision for the “war of the models”. Meanwhile, China’s defence minister denied his country’s yearning for regional dominion or political jostling; he said “Those who allege the theory of China seeking political rivalry, we say to them: we only want to broaden the channels of free trade and commercial exchange between countries and establish world peace.”

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expounded the process of diplomacy and alliance by saying that the President was “speaking out powerfully about the common purpose and common strength of democracies [which]is an important part of a collective effort to be able to meet the China challenge over the decades ahead.” He meant that Biden had combined all misgivings and challenges facing the allies, including Pompeo’s accusations that China had made “efforts to steal data across networks, which you just referred to in terms of the decision Australia made, or militarise the South China Sea… or engage in activities where they foist money on nations that are desperate for resources and leave them trapped in debt, debt positions, which ultimately aren't about commercial transactions, but are about political control,” in addition to evoking the issues of the Uyghur Muslims, Honk Kong, Huawei and the “China virus”, and thus reproducing the image of China so that she may become the main challenge facing the free world today.

All this was in response to China starting to build her relationships outside the frameworks of “international norms” by linking her neighbours among others to her leading economic system, which is built on the state’s investment in basic and strategic industries and civilian and military abilities, which has given China several achievements in technology and supply chains, and enabled her to dominate the channels and instruments for control, communication and information, especially in the technology of quantum computers which can perform complex calculations in fractions of a second, encrypt documents and military and financial instructions.

It is common knowledge that America is the official sponsor in charge of taking China out of isolation. She integrated China into the world Capitalist community and granted her a seat in the Group of Twenty (G20), membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a prominent status at the IMF and the World Bank, as well as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other world organisations, not to mention the US, European, Japanese and Gulf investments totalling hundreds of billions of dollars. However, all this was on condition that China would carry out market reforms and adhere to the regulations of international organisations and institutions, i.e., to move towards the free market. Since China is not affiliated to America but rather an independent state, it is natural, taking into account her interests, for her to not adhere literally to these conditions. It is expected that China will deviate from the formulated frameworks, the political and economic boundaries and the margin of manoeuvre. This prompted Pompeo to warn China by saying America would not remain idle and would confront China; he called on China to adhere to international systems and laws.

And based on the findings of US National Security charter and US Indo-Pacific strategy, which confirmed that Asia was the most important region, the US set up the framework that would achieve her strategic vision towards China, namely compelling adherence to international norms and laws, and set about containing China through military preparation, alliances and strong links through a regional network. This is why she established the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), which includes America, Japan, India and Australia, to be a new democratic alliance aimed at confronting and besieging China, and preventing her from continuing to control the foundations of rapprochement with neighbouring countries and the areas of her economic expansion. America resorted to the style of reprimanding, humiliating, blackmailing and subjecting other countries to her demands; Pompeo slammed Australia in a public address in Sydney by saying “Yeah. Look, you can sell your soul for a pile of soya beans or you can protect your people.”

China reiterated through the speech delivered by her defence minister Wei Fenghe at Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore “the need to respect the core interests of China, because it would be impossible for any country to think that China would allow her sovereignty, security and developmental interests to be undermined.” He reemphasised that Taiwan and Honk Kong were a red line, that any vision for the security of the region should take into account the common security interests of the countries of the region, and that it would be implausible to resort to security blocs as a means to settle regional issues.

China has also described the QUAD as “sea scum” but the Biden administration went ahead and initiated the QUAD through the Washington Summit last September, during which it confirmed the grounds of cooperation between the member states to enhance security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

Hence, America turned the QUAD into a core institutional component in her geopolitical approach to the region; this approach, corroborated by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and the RAND Corporation, involves harnessing a “regional group with influence and capable of supporting and shoring up the American values.” America has initiated several political steps and actions to corroborate this role such as exhorting the EU to declare a similar policy and cooperate directly with the countries of the region with the aim of finalising free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand and India to shrink their link and dependence on the Chinese economy.

Examples of actions the QUAD has been designing to amend the norms and laws is what is pertinent to transferring new sophisticated technology in smart microchips and quantum computers, and which is stipulated by the document on “Quad Principles on Technology Design, Development, Governance and Use.” This resulted in setting up a host of customs mechanisms and regulations and exports rules to meet the common interests and values, and prevent the export of technologies to China or any of her military institutions. These steps are designed to “establish a secure supply chain for semiconductors”, 75% of which are produced by East Asian countries although the six largest multinationals which design these are American. Another example is the QUAD’s “objection to the unilateral and coercive attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Sea,” which has culminated in adopting the maritime law treaty in order to meet the challenge to the maritime rules-based order, especially the East and South China Sea, and in increasing the “freedom of navigation patrols” and bolstering maritime military presence through naval drills that including those of Australia, New Zealand and Japan. It has also generated an agreement to launch a joint initiative to map capacity, identify vulnerabilities and bolster strategic supply chains,” which involve the highest economic and financial risks as they rely heavily on the Chinese economy in respect of products pertinent to or having an impact on national security. Losses of the world’s car industry is estimated at $60 billion due to the inability to import semiconductors, the manufacturing of which is dominated by South Asian countries, especially China and Taiwan. This explains why Biden mentioned in his State of the Union speech the investment of Intel Corporation.

Innovating the styles and means to effectuate political visions and achieve the aims expected of them, and putting the strategies into implementation, is part of political leadership craftsmanship, and part of the accessories of awareness and a characteristic of the statesmen who perceive that politics is governing people’s affairs and transferring political thought to the palpable reality and the domestic and foreign relationships. The leadership, to which those working for revival aspire, should in the first instance be an intellectual leadership so that it may have an authority. This authority cannot be effective and influential unless the ideology upon which it is built rests on a spiritual foundation, i.e., unless it is based on a rational doctrine built on Iman in Allah, the Creator and Planner, and from which a system emanates. This is what America and the conventional powers lack, which means that their intellectual well is about to dry up, their civilisational glitter is about to fade and their hegemony over the world is about to end. The chickens of the Capitalist ideology have come home to roost in the shape of a ferocious war between Russia and the West. The hopes of the Ummah, and even the entire world, are pinned on the magnificent Islam, whose return to the realm of life to project its radiance, justice, and bliss, needs only the men whose loyalty to Allah the Almighty eclipses all other loyalties.

7 Sha’aban 1443h
10 March 2022