Cooperation, challenges and points of tension: results of the Quad summit, the informal alliance of the US and its allies in the Indo-Pacific

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This Friday a meeting of the leaders of the member countries of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as the ‘Quad’ and formed by USA, India, Japan and Australia.

In a statement Together, the four heads of state describe the summit as “an opportunity to refocus ourselves and the world” and commit “to promote free, open and rule-based order, rooted in international law and undeterred by coercion, to enhance security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. “

Speaking of third countries, the leaders they mention Afghanistan, reaffirming that their territory “should not be used to threaten or attack other countries or to host or train terrorists” and call on the Taliban * “to provide safe passage to anyone wishing to leave” the country. They also refer to North Korea, whose government they urge denuclearization and “participate in a substantive dialogue.” Another of the countries that they mention in their statement is Myanmar, demanding an end to violence and the restoration of democracy after the coup in February this year. At the same time, they promise to “meet the challenges of the rules-based maritime order, including East and South China Seas“.

Main approaches

Likewise, the White House communicates that a series of measures have been agreed in different areas.

  • Health and the covid-19 pandemic

The four countries promise to donate 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine beyond their commitments under the international Covax mechanism. Likewise, Japan will invest approximately 100 million dollars in the Indian health sector related to COVID-19. To prepare for possible pandemics in the future, the four States will jointly conduct at least one exercise in 2022.

  • Infrastructure
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The Quad countries will launch a coordination group that will watch over regional needs. In addition, they promise to increase their investments in this area in more than 30 Indo-Pacific countries.

  • Climate

The partners indicate their “great concern about the findings of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” of the UN, and propose to advance in the decarbonization of the economy. To do this, they envisage the creation of a green maritime transport network, whose first nodes will be the ports of Los Angeles, Bombay, Sydney and Yokohama. Likewise, the creation of an association for the production and trade of clean hydrogen is planned, as well as a working group to monitor the climate in the region and provide technical assistance for the construction of protective infrastructure in small island countries.

  • Technologies

The countries have agreed to launch a supply chain initiative for semiconductors, materials whose shortage is affecting various sectors of the industry. They also agreed to support the implementation and development of 5G networks, as well as to monitor trends in biotechnologies to identify which ones are a priority. A contact group will be in charge of developing common technical standards.

  • Cyber ​​security

The Quad members promise to make “new efforts to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure against cyber threats by bringing together the experience of our nations to drive national and international best practices.”

  • Space

Countries commit to sharing satellite data that they claim is linked to climate change and the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources.

  • Education
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Quad leaders have agreed to an annual scholarship for 100 students from their countries.

What is the Quad?

The Quad is an informal strategic forum created in 2017 and considered as a response to the increasing presence of China in the region.

On the military side, the Quad members have been expanding their cooperation over the past year by signing bilateral agreements, as well as joint military exercises.

The initiative was condemned by Beijing as an attempt to form an “Indo-Pacific NATO” to “contain” the development of the Asian giant. “What it seeks is to proclaim the mentality of the Cold War and to stoke the confrontation between different groups and blocs, as well as to stoke geopolitical competition. What it maintains is the dominant and hegemonic system of the United States. […] The strategy is itself a major underlying security risk, “said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last October.

The last time the Quad leaders met in March. Among the issues discussed at the time were freedom of navigation in the South China and East China seas, the North Korean nuclear issue and the military coup in Myanmar, as well as joint work in the areas of vaccine distribution. , weather and security.

* The Taliban movement, designated as a “terrorist organization” by the UN Security Council, is declared a terrorist group and prohibited in Russia.

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