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Quad rolls out initiative to monitor maritime activities in Indo-Pacific

Quad rolls out initiative to monitor maritime activities in Indo-Pacific
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tokyo: Four-nation grouping Quad on Tuesday launched a major new initiative for the Indo-Pacific that allows the partner countries to fully monitor the waters on their shores and help ensure peace and stability in the region, a move that comes amid China's increasingly intimidatory behaviour.

The announcement on the rollout of the Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) came at the end of the second in-person Quad summit attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese here.

A joint statement by the four leaders said the IPMDA will support and work in consultation with Indo-Pacific nations and regional information fusion centres in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands by providing technology and training to support shared maritime domain awareness to promote stability and prosperity.

As part of ongoing work related to critical and emerging technologies, the Ministry of External Affairs said the Quad's 'Common Statement of

Principles on Critical Technology Supply Chains' was launched.

It said the four countries will coordinate capacity building programmes for the Indo-Pacific region to bolster the critical cyber security infrastructure of the region.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and vowed to work "tirelessly to deliver tangible results" for the region.

"The IPMDA embodies what the Quad stands for: catalyzing our joint efforts towards concrete results that help to make the region more stable and prosperous," it said.

The leaders also announced the establishment of the 'Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific' that is aimed at further strengthening collaboration to effectively respond to disasters in the region.

According to a White House fact sheet, the IPMDA will offer a "near-real-time, integrated, and cost-effective" maritime domain awareness picture

and it will transform the ability of partners in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and

the Indian Ocean region to

fully monitor the waters on their shores, and, in turn, "uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific.

It said the new initiative will allow tracking of 'dark shipping' and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea, as well as improve partners' ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and to protect their fisheries, which are vital to many Indo-Pacific economies.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.

The White House said that the Quad countries are committed to contributing to the region's maritime domain awareness a fundamental requirement for peace, stability, and prosperity through investment in IPMDA over five years. The partnership will innovate upon existing maritime domain awareness efforts, rapidly bringing emerging technologies to bear for the greater good of the Indo-Pacific community, it said.

It said IPMDA will build a faster maritime picture of near-real-time activities in the waters of its partners.

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