By Naveen Kapoor
New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): Having gained momentum with the first virtual meeting of its leaders in March last year, the Quad Summit held in Tokyo on Tuesday was the fourth interaction of the leaders and their second in-person meeting in over a year.
Quad is not a security grouping or alliance and its leaders maintain that it is not directed against any other country. However, many see it as a group to check growing Chinese activities which impinge on the freedom of navigation, sovereignty and territorial integrity in the region.
Several announcements were made during the summit meeting between the Quad leaders in Tokyo which are apparently aimed at the moves of Beijing.
Among various strategic announcements, the Indo-Pacific partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness, is seen as a big takeaway of the Quad meeting by strategic affairs watchers here in New Delhi. They said the move will keep a check on illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific and may use real-time high technologies including satellites to track illegal movement. This may not suit Beijing, said an observer of geopolitics in the region.
China is accused as the biggest offender of illegal fishing in the zone and its huge fishing boats often violate economic zones and do irreparable damage to the environment. Illegal activities by Chinese trawlers have been hurting livelihoods and food security in the region. Small nations are the biggest victims of this illegal fishing.
Quad's new Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness Initiative will help countries bolster their capacities to respond to HADR incidents and combat illegal fishing.
The joint statement released by Quad said: "We will endeavour to share space-based civil earth observation data, along with providing a 'Quad Satellite Data Portal.'"
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, new Australian Prime Minister Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida exchanged views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and contemporary global issues of mutual interest at the summit held on May 24 in Tokyo.
The leaders agreed to provide countries in the region resources on earth observation data through a Quad satellite data portal to help track climate events, disaster preparedness and sustainable use of marine resources. This can prove a game-changer in the region.
India is expected to play a proactive role in this effort given its longstanding capabilities in using space-based data and technologies for inclusive development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to build trusted global supply chains also resonated at the Quad meeting in Tokyo. Quad has mapped its capacity and vulnerabilities in global semiconductor supply chains and has decided to better leverage its complementary strengths to realize a diverse and competitive market for semiconductors.
"The Common Statement of Principles on Critical Technology Supply Chains, launched on the occasion of this Summit, advances our cooperation on semiconductors and other critical technologies, providing a cooperative foundation for enhancing our resilience against various risks to the region," the Quad joint statement said.
Prime Minister Modi has time and again asked global vaccine makers to Make in India. The grouping has welcomed the expansion of J&J vaccine production at the Biological E facility in India under the Quad Vaccine Partnership.
Quad's announcement of USD 50 billion for building infrastructure is also seen as a significant tangible move by the grouping. At the meet, leaders also expressed commitment for use of 5G and beyond 5G technologies.
Ahead of the Quad meet, the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) initiative was launched in Tokyo.
Apart from US, India, Australia, Japan, nine other countries are "initial partners" that signed up for IPEF and emphasised commitment to a free, open, fair, inclusive, interconnected, resilient, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region that has the potential to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The IPEF is structured around four pillars including trade and supply chains. (ANI)
How far has the Quad moved in Tokyo?
ANI | Updated: May 26, 2022 21:09 IST
By Naveen Kapoor