Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Refrain from forming ‘exclusive cliques’: China on Quad summit

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The Quad grouping – comprising India, the US, Japan and Australia – shouldn’t undermine the interests of any third party or form “cliques”, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday while the state-controlled media dismissed its first-ever summit as an attempt to copy the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) model.

“State-to-state exchanges and cooperation should help enhance mutual understanding and trust among regional countries, instead of targeting against or undermining the interests of any third party,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters on Friday.

“We hope relevant countries will follow the principles of openness, inclusiveness and win-win results, refrain from forming closed and exclusive cliques and act in a way that is conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity,” Zhao said.

The tabloid Global Times reported, “While the US is trying to contain China through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as Quad, or the ‘Asian Nato’, such ambition is impossible to realise.”

It’s interesting how Xinhua, China’s official news agency, had described Quad last year. It had referenced Australia’s decision to join Exercise Malabar 2020.

“The decision, announced after the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) held in Tokyo, has pulled Australia militarily back into Quad, an informal strategic forum originally formed by the United States, Japan, Australia and India in 2007,” Xinhua had reported.

“There is no reason for China to be messed around with such baseless speculations as China, though having taken note of the latest development, has made it clear that military cooperation between countries should be conducive to regional peace and stability,” the report had added.

Wang Yi, China’s state councillor and foreign minister, had last year dismissed Quad as a “so-called Indo-Pacific new Nato”.

Wang was quoted in a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry as saying the “Indo-Pacific strategy” proposed by the US is in essence aimed at building a so-called Indo-Pacific “new Nato” underpinned by the quadrilateral mechanism involving India, the US, Japan and Australia.

“The strategy is to trumpet the old-fashioned Cold War mentality to stir up confrontation among different groups and blocs and to stoke geopolitical competition, in a bid to maintain the dominance and hegemonic system of the United States,” Wang was quoted as saying during a visit to Malaysia last October.

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