China accuses Quad of ‘Cold War mentality’

Published on Feb 10, 2022 06:19 AM IST
  • US secretary of state Antony Blinken arrived in Australia on Wednesday to meet Asia-Pacific allies concerned by China’s rise and signal US commitment to the region despite Washington’s recent focus on Ukraine.
United States’ secretary of state Antony Blinken waves as he disembarks from his plane in Melbourne, Australia, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Blinken will meet with Australian foreign minister Marise Payne as well as their Indian and Japanese counterparts who form the so-called ‘Quad’. (AP)(HT_PRINT)
United States’ secretary of state Antony Blinken waves as he disembarks from his plane in Melbourne, Australia, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Blinken will meet with Australian foreign minister Marise Payne as well as their Indian and Japanese counterparts who form the so-called ‘Quad’. (AP)(HT_PRINT)
BySutirtho Patranobis, Beijing/melbourne

China on Wednesday lashed out at the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) foreign ministers’ meeting to be held in Melbourne on February 10-11, accusing the members, including India, of driving wedges in the region and having a “Cold War mentality”. Opposing the Quad in strong words, the Chinese foreign ministry said as a “bloc”, it was trying to trigger confrontation unlike China, which stands for peace and development.

The ministry accused the US of forming “blocs” and attempting to force its “style” of democracy. Beijing had earlier denounced the Quad as a Cold War construct and a clique “targeting other countries”.

Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar will join his counterparts from Australia, Japan and the US for a meeting under the Quad mechanism in Melbourne on February 10-11; the meeting is expected to set the agenda for the Quad leaders’ summit in Japan later this year.

The leaders of the four countries had met in a September summit, which was attended by Indian PM Narendra Modi.

Asked to comment on reports that said the summit will discuss ways to counter China’s challenge, Chinese foreign ministry’s Zhao Lijian launched a scathing attack on the Quad, especially the US.

Also Read | Quad decisions to be set in motion at key meet this week

“The US has long lost its reputation as a democracy. However, it is still trying to force other countries to accept US-style democratic standards. The US is drawing a line along democratic values, and putting together small blocs. This is a complete betrayal of democratic values,” Zhao said. “We oppose exclusive blocs to create bloc confrontation,” he said.

“China seeks peace, development, and cooperation. We advance the building of an Asia-Pacific security system that is open, inclusive, and not targeting any third country.”

“We hope that the US and relevant countries can get a clear picture of the situation, feel relaxed, abandon the Cold War mentality, stop driving wedges between regional countries and contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity,” the spokesperson added.

Blinken in Australia for Quad ministers’ meeting

US secretary of state Antony Blinken arrived in Australia on Wednesday to meet Asia-Pacific allies concerned by China’s rise and signal US commitment to the region despite Washington’s recent focus on Ukraine.

Blinken insisted that Washington’s “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region in the face of China’s challenge is still alive, despite the powerful diversions of crises in the Middle East and now Eastern Europe in recent years.

Meanwhile, Australia is not looking at renaming Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the country and remains committed to its one-China policy, foreign minister Marise Payne said on Wednesday, amid strain in diplomatic ties with Beijing.

(With inputs from agencies)

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as Hindustan Times’ China correspondent. He was previously posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several beats including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted abroad.

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