The Quad political alliance is planning to announce a pact for "creating a safe supply chain for semiconductors," Nikkei said. The move is being seen as an alliance to counter rising Chinese influence and assertiveness in technology. In the longer term it is about countering the concentration of advanced chip production in southeast Asia to reduce vulnerability, reports state.
The political heads of the US, Australia, Japan, India – US President Joe Biden and the prime ministers of Australia, Japan and India, Scott Morrison, Yoshihide Suga, Narendra Modi, respectively – are due to meet in person at the Quad Summit in Washington DC on Friday, September 24.
Nikkei has reported on the contents of a draft joint statement being worked on for the four leaders, stating that it emphasizes the importance of "resilient, diverse and secure technology supply chains for hardware, software, and services."
The Quad group plans to set up a 'Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group' Nikkei said. The reason given was that "a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific requires that critical and emerging technology is governed and operates according to shared interests and values."
Nikkei reports that the Quad group's draft statement reveals it is planning to "launch a joint initiative to map capacity, identify vulnerabilities and bolster supply chain security for semiconductors and their vital components."
Over the last year the global importance of semiconductors has been made plain by shortages in several applications sectors and the political realization that the world is heavily dependent on chips made in Taiwan. The People's Republic of China insists that Taiwan is a renegade state within the country of China and that it would have the right to occupy, at a time of its own choosing.
The latest move is part of extended moves against China, including imposing an effective embargo on advanced technology supplies to communications giant Huawei and to China's leading chip foundry SMIC.
The Quad Summit draft joint statement has been revealed a few days after the three-way alliance known as Aukus between Australia, the US and the UK was announced with the purpose of helping Australia develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines in the region.
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