Latest Updates from Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)
Amidst of G7 meetings in Japan, simultaneously the leaders of the four Quad nations have conducted their annual summit in Hiroshima on May 21st, 2023.
The third in-person Quad summit will be held Sydney on May 24th 2023 will be the first time that Australia will be hosting this summit. The President of USA Biden with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, will attend the meeting hosted by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia.
PM Modi also invited Quad leaders to India for the next summit of the grouping in 2024.
What is QUAD?
Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ (QUAD), the Quad is an informal strategic forum comprising four nations, namely — United States of America (USA), India, Australia and Japan. One of the primary objectives of the Quad is to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
The group met for the first time in 2007 on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is considered an alliance of maritime democracies, and the forum is maintained by meetings, semi-regular summits, information exchanges and military drills of all the member countries.
Formation of QUAD
Since its establishment in 2007, the representatives for the four-member nations have met periodically. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the first to pitch the idea for the formation of Quad in 2007.
In fact, its origins can be traced back to the evolution of Exercise Malabar and the 2004 Tsunami when India conducted relief and rescue operations for itself and neighbouring countries and was later joined by the US, Japan and Australia. Therefore, China issued formal diplomatic protests to the members of the Quad.
The group has held “Quad-plus” meetings that have included South Korea, New Zealand and Vietnam, which could form the basis for future expansion or partnership in the region.
Principles of Quad
The motive behind the Quad is to keep the strategic sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any military or political influence. It is basically seen as a strategic grouping to reduce Chinese domination. The core objective of the Quad is to secure a rules-based global order, freedom of navigation and a liberal trading system. The coalition also aims to offer alternative debt financing for nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Quad leaders exchange views on contemporary global issues such as critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, climate change, pandemic and education.
The Indo-Pacific region as an “engine” of global trade, innovation and development and said its success and security are important for the whole world. The Quad leaders expanded the group into new areas of cooperation among which securing digital technology, submarine cables, infrastructure capacity building and maritime domain awareness are key strategies to minimize the threat from China.
By including key ASEAN countries like Indonesia and Far Pacific countries into the Quad infrastructure program, the four-nation grouping is expanding itself into a democratic counter to Communist Party of China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) by providing technology, financial support and infra-builders to Indo-Pacific littoral states.
- Quad Infrastructure Fellowships Program– It is a new initiative to boost infrastructure expertise across the Indo-Pacific. The initiative aims to empower more than 1,800 of the region’s infrastructure practitioners to design, build and manage quality infrastructure in their home countries.
- Export Promotion– Quad partners’ export credit agencies make an important contribution to the prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. We welcome ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation among Quad partners’ export credit agencies: including through a Memorandum of Cooperation between ECGC Limited of India, Export Finance Australia (EFA), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) of Japan, and Export-Import Bank of the United States (USEXIM).
- Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN)- Started with cooperation with Palau to deploy telecommunications markets and network architectures the first in the Pacific. To support access to innovations, such as Open RAN, that enable greater vendor choice for countries to expand and modernise their telecommunications networks.
- The Quad International Standards Cooperation Network and the Quad Principles on Critical and Emerging Technology Standards, released, reflect their support for industry-led, consensus-based multi-stakeholder approaches to the development of technology standards.
- Quad Investors Network (QUIN)- The private sector-led initiative has been launched which aims to facilitate investments in strategic technologies, including clean energy, semiconductors, critical minerals, and quantum. To support joint research to advance innovation in agriculture through emerging technologies designed to empower farmers everywhere to increase yield and resistance.
- Quad Joint Principles for Secure Software and the Quad Joint Principles for Cyber Security of Critical Infrastructure– These are the efforts to develop a guiding framework for ensuring supply chain security and resilience. These principles are designed to strengthen region’s defences against cyber threats to the software supply chain and critical infrastructure and services.
- Quad Space Working Group- It will explore avenues to deliver Earth Observation data and other space-related applications to assist nations across the Indo-Pacific to strengthen climate early warning systems and better manage the impacts of extreme weather events.
- Quad STEM Fellows– The first cohort will begin their studies in the United States in August 2023.
- Clean Energy Supply Chains Initiative– They would facilitate research and development and support the Indo-Pacific’s energy transition. In addition, the Quad Principles of Clean Energy Supply Chains were approved to guide engagement with the region on clean energy supply chain development.