| 19 May 2024, Sunday |

Regional cooperation shouldn’t target 3rd party: China on Quad summit

Any regional cooperation mechanism “should not target or harm the interests of a third party,” said China as Quad members hold their first face-to-face summit in Washington on Friday.

“A closed, exclusive clique targeting other countries runs counter to the trend of the times and the aspirations of regional countries,” Zhao Lijian, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Beijing.

“It will find no support and is doomed to fail,” said Zhao, as leaders of the US, Japan, Australia, and India prepare to hold the Quad summit in Washington.

Zhao said China has “always been an advocate of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a provider of public goods.”

“The growth of China’s strength means the growth of force for world peace. As a responsible major country, China’s contribution to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world is there for all to see,” he said.

Washington announced Quad – a loose security alliance among the US, Japan, Australia, and India – to counter China’s expanding economic and military influence in the wider Asia-pacific region.

“Relevant countries should view China’s development in a correct light and do more to promote solidarity and cooperation among countries in the region,” the ministry said in a statement.

Responding to a summit statement issued by Japan and India from Washington, Zhao called it “lying diplomacy” and “smearing diplomacy”.

“(They) are not constructive at all and must be put to a stop,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Yoshihide Suga, the prime minister of Japan, met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday, in Washington, ahead of the first in-person Quad summit.

“The two leaders shared the view on the importance of maritime security toward the realization of a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ and reaffirmed to work closely with each other and also with the US and Australia, in order to strengthen the connectivity in the region, as well as to form an international order based on the rule of law,” Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The two leaders shared strong opposition to the economic coercion and unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas,” the statement added.

However, Zhao said: “China is ready to continue to properly handle differences with countries concerned through consultation and negotiation.”

“The origin and headquarters of the so-called ‘economic coercion’ are in Washington DC. China does not wantonly bully others and impose sanctions, exercise long-arm jurisdiction, or arbitrarily oppress foreign companies. China can by no means be accused of ‘economic coercion’,” he said, adding that China is “firmly committed to safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.”