Beijing: China on Monday slammed the Quad grouping, saying a handful of countries are forming “exclusive cliques” and hyping” the ‘China threat’ theory and the move is doomed to fail.
The Quad leaders at their first-in-person summit in Washington on September 25 pledged to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, which is also “inclusive and resilient”, as they noted that the strategically vital region, witnessing China’s growing military manoeuvring, is a bedrock of their shared security and prosperity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden described the summit as an opportunity to refocus themselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on their vision for what they hope to achieve.
Asked for her reaction at a media briefing here, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “We are following the in-person Quad summit held by the US, Japan, India and Australia.”
“For some time, these countries have been keen on insinuating China with the so-called “rules-based order”, playing up and inciting the so-called “China threat” theory, and driving a wedge between regional countries and China. China is firmly opposed to this,” she said.
Hua said that facts have proved that China is a “builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a provider of public goods.”
“China’s growth means a growing force for world peace and a blessing for regional prosperity and development,” she said, adding that China cannot be accused of “coercion” or “disruption of order”.
She also pointed out that what most countries in the world recognise and accept is the international system with the UN at its core, the international order based on international law and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rather than the so-called “order” unilaterally defined by one or few countries.
“Numerous facts have shown that the US wants an order in which it wantonly defies, coerces and interferes with other countries without paying any price. It is an order in which US hegemony and bullying prevail, while the whole world grovels to the US. This so-called “order” runs counter to the trend of peace, development and cooperation of the times and the common aspiration of people around the world. It is unpopular and will never succeed,” the spokesperson said.
China always believes that any multilateral mechanism should conform to the trend of the times for peace and development, help enhance mutual trust and cooperation among countries, and should not target or undermine the interests of any third party, she said.
“Relevant countries should abandon the outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and ideological bias, stop forming closed and exclusive “cliques”, and do more to promote solidarity and cooperation among countries in the region as well as regional peace and stability,” Hua said.
The Quad leaders said in a joint statement together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
“We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states. We commit to working together and with a range of partners.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China’s growing military presence in the strategic region.
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.
Hua also attacked the “Summit for Democracy” planned by the Biden administration.
According to the US State Department, on December 9-10 this year Biden will host the first of two ‘Summits for Democracy’, “which will bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.”
By putting together this so-called “Summit for Democracy”, the US is in essence drawing an ideological line for bloc politics. This will only lead to division and confrontation, which will find no support as it runs against the trend of the times she said.
A crucial criterion of democracy should be whether the people’s expectations, needs and aspirations are met, and whether they enjoy tangible benefits. Whether it is good or not should not be judged by what we say, but what we do , she said. –PTI
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