When four of the Indo-Pacific’s leading democracies — Australia, India, Japan and the United States — revived the long-dormant "Quad" in 2017, their objective was clear: to create a strategic bulwark against Chinese expansionism and reinforce a stable regional balance of power.

But the coalition is now adrift and the security risks this poses should not be underestimated.

The Quad’s resurrection reflected a paradigm shift in U.S. foreign policy. After decades of engagement with China, including aiding its economic rise, U.S. policymakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — realized that America’s biggest trade partner had become its biggest strategic adversary, bent on replacing it as global hegemon. As U.S. President Joe Biden indicated in his 2022 National Security Strategy, China is “the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to advance that objective.”