Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang attacked the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy, saying that it aims to “encircle” China with a regional version of NATO by forming “exclusive blocs” and is bound to fail.
Since its formation, China has been criticising the US Indo-Pacific strategy as well as the Quad grouping consisting of the US, India, Japan, and Australia. “The Chinese minister may not have named India and other partners of the Quad except the US, but his message is for all of them,” diplomats who closely watched and analysed the press conference of Qin Gang told The Daily Guardian.
“The message goes beyond Senator Don Farrell, minister for Trade and Tourism in the Australian government.
Goyal noted that the current goal of doubling the bilateral trade must be reset by the industries and CEOs present there as there was great potential to increase trade manifold between the two nations. He also reiterated the growth potential of the bilateral trade and investments between India and Australia.
Earlier on Wednesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is looking forward to deliberations with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese to further the friendship between the two countries.
China’s recent outbursts signal its plan to defame Quad
criticism of the US’ Indo-Pacific policy. The clear signal is that China is going to raise its pitch against Quad and its Indo-Pacific focus before the Summit meeting of the Grouping in Australia possibly in the month of June this year,” diplomats said.
“There will be a full-scale attempt by China to spread a misinformation campaign against the Quad before the summit level meeting of the group,” sources said. Qin Gang’s outbursts against the US’ Indo-Pacific policy, and Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson’s remarks against Quad after its foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi recently should be seen as an attempt by the Chinese government to set the narrative against the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue ahead of leaders’ summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Australia in the month of June to participate in the Quad leaders’ summit. The strategy for the summit will also be discussed when Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Japanese Premier Fumio Kishida come to India this month.
The tone and tenor of China’s foreign minister’s statement needs to be looked into, as it clearly signals Beijing’s plan to mount an aggressive campaign to defame the Quad, sources said. “The US Indo-Pacific strategy while purportedly upholding freedom and openness to maintain security and prosperity in the region is an attempt to gang up to form exclusive blocs to provoke a confrontation by plotting an Asia Pacific version of NATO and to undermine regional integration through decoupling and supply chains”, Qin said.
Qin also slammed the U.S. for talking about “respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity” when it comes to Ukraine but not Taiwan, a self-governed island that Beijing says is part of China. “Why does the U.S. ask China not to provide weapons to Russia while it keeps selling arms to Taiwan?” Qin said.
India’s counter to China’s misinformation campaign is that the entire Indo-Pacific region is benefiting and will continue to benefit from the Quad. There is documentary and data-based evidence to establish how the Quad is coming to the aid of countries in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere, sources said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on earlier occasions said that any reservation to the activities of the four-nation bloc is possibly a “unilateralist opposition to collective and cooperative endeavours”. In what should serve as a clear message to China, Jaishankar has already said that the Quad is the most prominent plurilateral platform that addresses contemporary challenges and opportunities in the Indo-Pacific. Diplomats say that China must know that the entire Indo-Pacific region is benefiting from the Quad and this is validated by the growing recognition of its importance in the international community. “If there are reservations in any quarter, these stem from a desire to exercise a veto on the choices of others.”