Quad : Principles on Technology, Design, Development, Governance and Use – UPSC GS2

Summary: To counter China’s influence, Quad announced their collaboration in the technology sector.
Background:  Under recently held Quad summit, a separate statement on “Quad Principles on Technology, Design, Development, Governance and Use” has been issued which is independent of the main statement. This signifies the focus of Quad countries on technology.
What were the commitments made under the Quad principles?
  • Quad countries committed themselves to develop critical and development technology to benefit the society while upholding the freedom of expression, respect for universal human rights, shared democratic values and privacy.
  • Share Information: Quad countries recognized the need to collaborate on areas that were earlier strictly regulated. They agreed to share research and movement of highly skilled experts. They also agreed on reducing barriers to data and knowledge sharing for research projects and greater innovation, while protecting research security,
  • Private Sector Collaboration: Quad pledged to support new opportunities for innovation and technology like 5G and commitment to private sector-driven international standards, and commend the initiative to foster STEM education across the countries.
Why China is a threat, and what are the countries approaches to counter this threat?
  • China has made rapid advancements in the technological sector. It has invested several billion dollars in emerging tech. It is an emerging nation in cyber hacking, robotics, artificial intelligence etc.
  • USA: The defence security and technology strategy of the US is now centred around countering China. According to the research of Rand Cooperation, the Aim of the Third Offset Policy of the USA was to draw on US advanced technologies to offset China’s and Russia’s technological advances.
  • These efforts were successful as in 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) embraced many of the fundamental tenets of technological advances and Organisational changes developed by the Third Offset.
  • India: India has also announced various collaborations in defence security systems driven by emerging tech. These include sectors like drone manufacturing and cyber security.
What should the Quad do?
The fear of Chinese domination in advanced technologies has brought the governments together. But most countries have their own independent technological solutions to take on the challenge. There is a need to bring in greater synergy between the QUAD countries to form a combined front against China.

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