Alice Wells: India should invest in Quad instead of Brics and RIC

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India has traditionally been reluctant to play up its participation in the Quad, which was upgraded to the level of foreign ministers only last September.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2020 07:36 IST

Alice Wells, a career diplomat who retired as the acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia last month, made the remarks on Twitter. Alice Wells, a career diplomat who retired as the acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia last month, made the remarks on Twitter. (AP)

The US administration’s former pointperson for South Asia on Sunday called on India to step up its “investment in the Quad” grouping instead of giving preference to engagements with organisations such as Brics and RIC in which China plays a key role.

Alice Wells, a career diplomat who retired as the acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia last month, made the remarks on Twitter in response to an article that argued India shouldn’t be seen as a pushover in its ongoing border standoff with China.

“This is a good time for India to up its investment in the Quad. The appearance of privileging BRIC/RIC meetings over engagement with likeminded partners is discordant,” she tweeted, referring to the Quadrilateral alliance or Quad that groups together Australia, India, Japan and the US.

This is a good time for India to up its investment in the Quad. The appearance of privileging BRIC/RIC meetings over engagement with likeminded partners is discordant. https://t.co/yN9I9QW22J

— Alice G Wells (@AliceGWells) June 28, 2020

India has traditionally been reluctant to play up its participation in the Quad, which was upgraded to the level of foreign ministers only last September.

Amid the tense standoff with China, external affairs minister S Jaishankar had joined a virtual meeting of foreign ministers of the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping on June 23. He had also taken a thinly veiled dig at China in his address, saying the world’s “leading voices” should act in an exemplary manner by respecting international law and recognising the interests of partners.

The foreign ministers of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) grouping had held a virtual meeting on April 28, days before the border standoff became public. China has mobilised troops in several stretches of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), especially the Galwan Valley that has been the focus of tensions. A violent face-off on June 15 resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and unspecified Chinese casualties.

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