‘Exclusive cliques’ should not target third parties: China on Quad meet
Bejing The four-member Quad grouping should not undermine the interests of a third party and not form ‘cliques’, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday as the state-controlled media dismissed the first virtual summit between India, Australia, the US and Japan as an impractical attempt to copy the model of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
“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 said during the ministry’s daily briefing.
“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,” he added.
In a report, state-controlled media Global Times said: “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.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, US President Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attended the virtual summit, which is the first conference of the top leaders of the Quad alliance, on Friday. During the meeting, the four leaders are expected to lay out their vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, amidst China flexing its muscle in the strategically-vital region.
Last year, state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi had dismissed the Quad grouping as the “so-called Indo-Pacific new NATO”. In a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang Yi was quoted as saying that 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 the US, Japan, India 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,” he was quoted as saying during a visit to Malaysia in October.