By: Matthew Crouch and Clementine Starling

What is the kernel of the issue?

A rising and bellicose China is expanding economically and militarily as the United States and its allies face difficult resource allocation questions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why is the issue important?

As great-power competition heats up to become “extreme competition,” as President Biden stated, China is extending its reach beyond the Indo-Pacific. At stake is the future of a rules-based order. While Europe benefits from NATO as a security architecture for allied cooperation, the Indo-Pacific lacks a multilateral structure to align and organize regional security to deter future conflict.

What is the recommendation?

The US should develop the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) into a “Quad Plus” structure that brings in partners like New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines on selected issues of common concern. This enhanced security arrangement could enable allies and partners at minimum to share threat assessments and coordinate policies to effectively deter Chinese coercion in the Indo-Pacific.