The decision of US President Joe Biden to host the first in-person Quad summit on September 24 in Washington has not gone well with China. The Asian giant has hit out at the upcoming first-ever Quad summit to be hosted by US President Joe Biden, saying the formation of ‘cliques’ targeting other countries ‘won’t be popular and has ‘no future.
The event will be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga.
While reacting to the announcement related to the Quad summit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that cooperation between the countries should not target third parties.
“China believes that any regional cooperation framework should go with the trend of the times and be conducive to mutual trust and cooperation between the regional countries. It should not target any third party or harm their interests,” he said.
“To form exclusive cliques targeting other countries does not conform with the country’s aspirations, won’t be popular, and has no future,” he asserted.
“I want to stress that China is not only an engine for economic growth in the Asia Pacific, it is also the main force safeguarding peace,” he said, adding that China’s growth is an increase in “forces for peace” in the world and “good news” for the region.
“Relevant countries should abandon the obsolete Cold War mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical rivalry concept and view correctly and respect people’s aspiration in the region and do more things conducive to regional solidarity and cooperation,” Zhao said.
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.
In March, President Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the Quad leaders in the virtual format that vowed to strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion, sending a subtle message to China.
The Quad summit will take place amidst China’s aggressive behavior in the resource-rich South China Sea.
Beijing claims almost all of the 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.