Less than two months into the tenure of U.S. President Joe Biden, his administration has made clear its desire to tap into the potential of the "Quad" — a grouping made up of Australia, India, Japan and the United States — as a counterweight to China's rise.

At the Quad's first-ever summit meeting on Friday, Biden pitched the multilateral forum as "a vital arena" for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, raising hopes for an increased role for the grouping to address issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic and climate change to technology and maritime security.

But whether the Quad can gain standing as a meaningful regional architecture remains to be seen.