The Quad Summit will decide on ways to secure the semiconductor supply chain at the first in-person summit of the group on September 24, indicates a draft of a joint document that the four countries will issue.
It was not known whether securing the semiconductor supply chain would be the key high point of the summit or one of many big decisions that the group may arrove at.
US President Joe Biden is hosting the first physical summit at the White House on September 24, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japan’s Yoshihide Suga and Australia’s Scott Morrison.
They are slated to discuss the ongoing pandemic and their joint efforts to boost global vaccine supplies, the climate crisis, partnering on emerging technologies and cyberspace, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Their September 24 meeting is the first in-person summit level meeting of the Quad, which is seen as an emerging bloc of countries positioning itself as a check against China’s growing aggression in the Indo-Pacific and outside.
The leaders held their first summit in March, but virtually.
A draft of the joint statement sayS that “resilient, diverse and secure technology supply chains for hardware, software, and services” are vital to their shared national interests.
Japan and the United States are the world’s leading manufacturers of semiconductors, along with Taiwan, South Korea and the Netherlands. China is a big rival that has been called Asia’s “Big 4” along with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. India and Australia are nowhere in the market although New Delhi has moved aggressively to woo chipmakers in recent years.
The draft document seeks to set common principles on technological development, arguing that “the way in which technology is designed, developed, governed and used should be shaped by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights”.
The document does not specify any country as a threat or competition, but it does refer to China’s alleged theft of technology, saying that “illicit transfer or theft of technology is a common challenge that undermines the very foundation of global technological development and should be addressed”.
In a barely veiled reference to China’s widely reported use of technology for surveillance of its population, specially Uighur minority Muslims, the draft reportedly says that the Quad believes “technology should not be misused or abused for malicious activities such as authoritarian surveillance and oppression”.
The Quad group hopes to “launch a joint initiative to map capacity, identify vulnerabilities and bolster supply chain security for semiconductors and their vital components”, the draft says.