The four member Quad, an “exclusive, closed” group will find no support, China said on Friday ahead of the first in-person summit of the bloc’s leaders in Washington to be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“China always believes that any regional cooperation mechanism should not target a third party or harm its interests. Seeking exclusive closed cliques against a third country runs against the trend of the times and aspirations of countries in the region,” foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said on Friday. “the Quad will find no support.”
Besides Narendra Modi, the high-profile summit will be attended by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden.
In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry sniggered at the summit of the Quad, which is often seen as a counter to China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Zhao Lijian said, “Relevant countries should do more that is conducive to solidarity and cooperation with countries in the region.” “The growth of China means the growth for peace and stability in the world and China’s contribution to peace and stability and development in the Asia Pacific is there for all to see” .
China had reacted strongly to an online meeting of the Quad leaders in March, saying that the “will end up nowhere” if it does not abandon its ideological bias and cold war mentality, underscoring its opposition to the bloc.The March summit attended by all four leaders via video link was closely monitored and critiqued by Beijing.
The consensus in Beijing is that the four countries came together to counter China’s increasing influence and muscle-flexing in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific region.
In November 2017, New Delhi, Tokyo, Washington, and Canberra gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a coordinated strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific maritime region free of any influence.
In 2018, Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi had described the Quad as “ seafoam in the Pacific or the Indian Ocean: they may get some attention, but soon will dissipate”.