Taking a Stand: India Should Respond to South China Sea Intimidation as QUAD Partner


As one of the stronger partners of the QUAD, it’s vital that India intervenes militarily to prevent frequent harrassment of firsherfolk and coast guard or even navy of the Phiippines by the People’s Liberation Navy or PLAN of China. India can send a frigate to escort Philippine Navy and Coast GUard or civilian ships to prevent unwarranted Chinese bullying

The South China Sea has become a tinderbox of tension. China’s escalating intimidation tactics against Filipino fisherfolk and other maritime actors demand a swift and coordinated response from the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue). This article explores how the grouping, particularly India with its growing military might, can take immediate action to deter further aggression and ensure a secure maritime environment for the Philippines.

Immediate Measures for Deterrence

The QUAD needs a multi-pronged approach to address the current crisis. Here’s what they can do:

  • Joint Coast Guard Patrols: Regular joint patrols by QUAD Coast Guard vessels in the South China Sea, particularly near disputed areas, sends a strong message of unity and resolve. This presence deters Chinese harassment and provides a sense of security to Filipino fisherfolk venturing into their own EEZ.

  • Information Sharing and Enhanced Domain Awareness: Establishing a real-time information sharing network among QUAD members is crucial. Sharing intelligence on Chinese vessel movements, suspicious activities, and potential flashpoints allows for coordinated responses and early warnings for Filipino fishermen.

  • Diplomatic Pressure and Public Condemnation: The QUAD, through coordinated diplomatic efforts, should strongly condemn China’s intimidating tactics. Public statements expressing concern and urging restraint can isolate China internationally and highlight its aggressive behavior.

  • Targeted Sanctions and Economic Measures: While a last resort, considering targeted sanctions on Chinese entities involved in harassing Filipino fishing activities can deter further transgressions. Additionally, promoting alternative trade routes and economic partnerships with the Philippines can lessen their dependence on China and increase economic leverage.

India’s Military Role in the QUAD

India, as a rising Asian power, has a vital military role to play within the QUAD:

  • Increased Naval Deployments: Deploying Indian warships and patrol aircraft to the South China Sea alongside other QUAD members demonstrates a united military front. This presence strengthens the resolve of Southeast Asian nations and deters further Chinese aggression.

  • Joint Military Exercises: Conducting frequent joint naval exercises in the region, including anti-submarine warfare and freedom of navigation operations, showcases the QUAD’s collective military capabilities. This reinforces the commitment to upholding international law and the principle of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

  • Intelligence Sharing and Military Cooperation: Enhanced intelligence sharing on Chinese military activities and capacity building programs with the Philippines strengthens their national defense capabilities. This includes joint training exercises, technology transfers, and providing crucial equipment to bolster Philippine Coast Guard and Navy presence.

Balancing Deterrence with Diplomacy

The QUAD’s actions should be calibrated to deter aggression without escalating tensions. Open lines of communication with China remain crucial. The goal is to create an environment where peaceful resolution through international law can prevail.


The escalating situation in the South China Sea demands immediate and coordinated action from the QUAD. By combining political pressure, economic leverage, and a robust military presence, the QUAD can create a strong deterrent against Chinese aggression. India, with its growing military power, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of these efforts. A collective stand by the QUAD can pave the way for a more peaceful and rules-based order in the South China Sea, safeguarding the livelihoods of Filipino fisherfolk and ensuring a stable maritime future for the entire region.

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