Chinese Government Denounces Melbourne’s Quad Meeting


By Staff Writer.

The Chinese Government has denounced the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) meeting held in Melbourne on Friday. A Chinese Government spokesperson called the meeting a “tool for containing and besieging China to maintain US hegemony,” adding it incited confrontation and undermined international solidarity.

US Secretary of State Antony ­Blinken, India’s Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Japan’s Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Australia’s Marise Payne met in person on Friday. Chinese aggression and their military build-up in the Indo-Pacific region was the top of the agenda.

A joint communiqué issued by the Ministers after the meeting specifically referenced the need to meet challenges from China to the maritime rules-based order, including in the South and East China Seas.

During the meeting, the ministers agreed to step up cooperation on freedom of navigation matters and to help protect the offshore resources of the region’s nations.

“The Quad recognises that international law, peace, and security in the maritime domain underpins the development and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific,” the communiqué said. “We reiterate the importance of adherence to international law, particularly as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

In a press briefing later on Friday in Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson was scathing about the Quad meeting and its focus on China.

“The attempt to forge a so-called alliance to contain China wins no support and leads nowhere,” said the spokesperson, Zhao Lijian. “Relevant countries should abandon the antiquated Cold War mentality, correct the wrong approach of bloc confrontation and geopolitical games, and contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.”

But the Quad’s Foreign Ministers say their overarching aim is to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific via offering practical support throughout the region and influencing the strategic direction across the Indo-Pacific.

Noting Japan’s relative proximity to China, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said China’s build-up of military, cybersecurity, and space capabilities, combined with a lack of transparency, is a matter of “grave concern” for his country and the region.

“It (China) is also continuing to expand and intensify its activities in the East China Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the South China Sea,” Minister Hayashi said.

Secretary of State Blinken says war with China isn’t inevitable, but the US is concerned about China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific region. He also says working together to counter the threat will achieve better results than working alone.

“We have a multiplicity of alliance and partnerships to deal with issues of concern to our people – that’s our greatest strength,” Secretary Blinkin told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Acknowledging significant security challenges in the region, the Secretary of State said the best way to deal with them was to team up with trusted partners like the Quad nations.

“You start with the countries that share the same basic interests and values, and nowhere is that truer than between the United States and Australia,” he said. “Ultimately, we will be judged by what we do and what we achieve.”

“No one has a better claim to the title of ‘master of coercion’ than the US,” said Zhao Lijian the next day.


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