China Criticizes New Delhi Quad Meeting for Promoting Exclusivity

China Criticizes New Delhi Quad Meeting for Promoting Exclusivity
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning. Photo by Chinese Foreign Ministry

China slammed Quad on Friday, noting that the interactions between states should aim for peace and development, as well as bolster mutual trust and regional stability, rather than promoting exclusivity, Indian newspaper the Economic Times reported.

The foreign ministers of the Quad countries, including the U.S., India, Australia, and Japan, assessed the Indo-Pacific situation during a meeting held in New Delhi. Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar led the meeting among the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

With the joint statement released after the meeting, the four nations reaffirmed their dedication to a free and open Indo-Pacific and expressed strong support for the principles of rule of law, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful dispute resolution.

At a media briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning responded to the Quad statement by saying that state-to-state interactions should align with the current trend of peace and development.

“We think that countries should do more to contribute to regional mutual trust, peace, and regional stability,” she said. “Cooperation among countries should conform to the trend of the times for peace and development and should not engage in exclusive cliques.”

The Quad considers itself a strategic forum that is not aimed at countering China, but Beijing views the group as an attempt by the U.S. to encircle it with military and strategic partners, the VOA reported.

Four foreign ministers met amid raising concerns about China’s support to Russia in the war with Ukraine and its increased assertiveness in Indo-Pacific.

Beijing claims almost all of the 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory, building military bases on artificial islands in the region also asserted by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

“We express serious concern at the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities,” ministers said in a statement referring to China’s claims to disputed maritime zones that have alarmed its neighbors.

Meanwhile, high U.S. officials have stated that China might be preparing to provide “lethal aid” to Russia, as the war in Ukraine has reached the one-year mark.

China denied the allegations and released a 12-point proposal for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.