The 5G cooperation is timely, coming on the back of a rising global discontent against China, as a survey has revealed that negative perception of China is at its highest ever.
Coming close on Indian prime minister's pronouncements that artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be a vital tool for the future, yet strictly monitored against improper use by non-state actors, India and Japan have signed an ambitious cyber-security agreement to boost principally cooperation on 5G technology and critical information infrastructure.
The two countries who have forged strong bilateral ties also stressed to work for a free and open Indo-Pacific along with Australia and the US who are the members of the Quad.
The 5G cooperation is timely, coming on the back of a rising global discontent against China, as a survey conducted by the US-based Pew Research Centre in the US, UK, Australia and 11 other countries has revealed that negative perception of China is at its highest ever.
China's foreign policy approach towards most nations has backfired, starting with their handling of the Covid-19 panedmic, and the knock-on effect of this has also been felt on trade and commerce conducted by Beijing with a focus on Chinese technology companies such as Huawei in western economies. The UK and Australia are among those that sounding what could well be the death knell for this global brand.
The announcements for the Indo-Japan cooperation, made by Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar and his Japanese counterpart Toshemitsu Motegi, did not make any obvious reference to China but the indication was not lost. The newly formed platform of teamwork between New Delhi and Tokyo will set a benchmark for future blueprints, drawn up with like-minded nations, in the area of capacity building, research and development, and security and resilience in critical information infrastructure, 5G, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).
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These will be important milestones as the Indian economy indicates to the rest of the world that it is ready and open for business and meaningful collaborations advocating a rules-based global order as well as a peaceful resolution of disputes in the face of China's growing aggression across the Indo-Pacific region. The sharing of information on countering cyber-security threats and developing joint mechanisms to mitigate threats to information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure are also a vital tool to counter the nefarious designs of non-state actors. The two countries will also cooperate on cyber-security at international bodies such as the UN and this illustrates a global commitment.
In this disruptive era digital, tech and data are vital components and in recognising the increasing role played by technologies the need of the hour is obviously a robust, resilient, digital cyber systems given the threat of cyber hacking has gone up and countries are being hard-pressed to safeguard their national interests which encompass the areas of critical information infrastructure, infrastructure for banks and payment systems, telecommunications and internet, nuclear reactors, energy transmission systems, transport systems such as air traffic control, and water supply systems, all of which have become a mainstay of a functioning economy, society and polity.
India and Japan have set the tableau for like-minded nations to follow in the field of geo-strategic relations. These are disruptive times and no country can chalk out an individual path given that global order and dynamics have undergone a massive change. Actions will speak louder than words and the use of optics have only a short-term effect.
Global order needs restructuring and, in this instance, team work makes the dream work. No nation is too small to be discounted. India has realized this and set an example of it in its dealing with like-minded countries - regionally and globally. Sovereignty and territorial integrity are paramount while negotiating past multiple issues like peaceful coexistence, cooperation in trade and commerce, security, climate change, maritime security, trade and connectivity, disaster risk reduction and management, science and technology cooperation, reducing marine pollution, sustainable use of marine resources, and capacity building.
The check list of problems is large and it will require the most patient and mature of leaders to set things on their right course. In its actions and utterances India has now set the gold standard of what a responsible global nation should act and look like.