Is the Quad’s Rise Destabilizing Asia?

With no sign of a U.S.-China thaw on the horizon, the United States is doubling down on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, with its partners India, Japan, and Australia. The Quad has graduated from a talk shop to effectively having its own military exercise even as its recent leaders’ summit stressed cooperation on vaccines, climate action, technology, and infrastructure investment. The role of India is especially important. Washington has placed a high priority on India’s integration into the U.S.-led security architecture in Asia, in which the Quad is taking center stage. Recent Chinese intrusions into Indian-controlled territory have only worsened the China-India bilateral relationship and pushed New Delhi even closer to Washington. Why is the Quad’s trajectory raising risks of a new cold war with China? How can the Quad be repurposed to reduce these risks? What role could India play in such a shift? Following up on its recent brief on de-risking U.S.-India relations, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft invites you to a panel discussion on the geopolitics of the Quad and the U.S.-India relationship, featuring Yun Sun, senior fellow and director of the China program at the Stimson Center; Sarang Shidore, senior fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks; and Kishore Mahbubani, distinguished fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore; and moderated by the Quincy Institute’s Rachel Esplin Odell.


Yun Sun

Yun Sun is a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the China Program at the Stimson Center. Her expertise is in Chinese foreign policy, U.S.-China relations and China’s relations with neighboring countries and authoritarian regimes. From 2011 to early 2014, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, jointly appointed by the Foreign Policy Program and the Global Development Program, where she focused on Chinese national security decision-making processes and China-Africa relations. From 2008 to 2011, Yun was the China Analyst for the International Crisis Group based in Beijing, specializing on China’s foreign policy towards conflict countries and the developing world. Prior to ICG, she worked on U.S.-Asia relations in Washington, DC for five years.

Sarang Shidore

Sarang Shidore is a researcher and analyst in geopolitical risk, international relations, and energy/climate security, with a special emphasis on South Asia, and additional expertise in scenario planning and strategic forecasting. He is currently Senior Research Analyst at the University of Texas at Austin, Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks in Washington, and a consultant. Sarang has consulted for and collaborated with multiple organizations and firms, including Quincy Institute, Oxford Analytica, Stimson Center, Stratfor, UK Ministry of Defense, Paulson Institute, Woodwell Climate Research Center, Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has published more than 60 articles in journals, edited volumes, and the media in his areas of expertise.

Kishore Mahbubani

Kishore Mahbubani is a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Mahbubani worked in the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years (1971 to 2004). He had postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and New York, where he twice was Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and served as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998. Mahbubani joined academia in 2004, when he was appointed the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS. He was Dean from 2004 to 2017, and a Professor in the Practice of Public Policy from 2006 to 2019. In April 2019, he was elected as an honorary international member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was also selected as one of Foreign Policy's Top Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011. He has published seven books: Can Asians Think?, Beyond The Age Of Innocence, The New Asian Hemisphere, The Great Convergence, Can Singapore Survive, The ASEAN Miracle (co-authored with Jeffery Sng) and Has the West Lost It?.

Rachel Esplin Odell (Moderator)

Rachel Esplin Odell is a Research Fellow in the East Asia Program at the Quincy Institute and an expert in U.S. strategy toward Asia, Chinese foreign policy, and maritime disputes. She was an International Security Fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School from 2019 to 2020. She received her PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where her dissertation studied the politics of how countries interpret the international law of the sea. Odell previously worked as a Research Analyst in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, co-authoring several policy reports and organizing numerous public forums, government briefings, and Track II workshops. She has also served in the China Affairs bureau of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She holds an AB summa cum laude in East Asian Studies with a secondary field in Government from Harvard University and has advanced proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.