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How the Quad can become an inclusive and relevant regional initiative

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By Song Kyung-jin

History recalls that there were at least two Sept. 15ths in the early part of the 21st century on which extraordinary events happened: 2008 and 2021. On Sept. 15, 2008, the world economy witnessed the biggest-ever bankruptcy of an investment bank, Lehman Brothers. The need for China's cooperation to combat the Great Recession at that time eclipsed the needs of the Quad.

Exactly 13 years later, the launch of a security initiative around the Indo-Pacific, called the AUKUS (standing for "Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States") partnership, was announced. A week after the AUKUS partnership was forged, the first in-person Quad Leaders' Summit, its second summit, was held on Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C.

Immediately following the launch of AUKUS, China submitted its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in a quid pro quo move, although there is currently little enthusiasm from the U.S. to rejoin it.

Now my head is spinning as I try to figure out what the Quad and AUKUS are meant for. Though Korea expressed its intention to join the CPTPP, it has not taken action in terms of submitting an application. This entire situation matters to me because it is happening around Korea, even though the Korean foreign minister stressed ― a little awkwardly ― at a Council on Foreign Relations event on Sept. 22........

© The Korea Times

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