Ahead of Quad summit, China says US’ Indo-Pacific strategy ‘bound to fail’

China on Sunday launched a retaliatory attack against the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy ahead of a summit of Quartet leaders in Japan, saying it was “doomed to fail” as Washington aggressively promoted it to “contain” Beijing.

Answering a question at his joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the “Indo-Pacific strategy” is raising more and more vigilance and concern in the international community, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. in Guangzhou, southern China.

This was Bilawal’s first visit to China after assuming the position of foreign minister following the fall of the government led by Imran Khan last month.

In comments posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website, Wang said the US “Indo-Pacific strategy” must be a failed strategy.

His comments came ahead of the Quartet summit to be held in Tokyo on May 24, which will be attended by US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterparts from Japan and Australia.

In September last year, President Biden hosted the first in-person meeting of the Quartet leaders in Washington.

China refers to the region as the Asia-Pacific and dislikes the Indo-Pacific strategic concept that gained fame during the tenure of former President Donald Trump and was pursued aggressively by his successor, Biden.

The Asia-Pacific region should become a plateau of peaceful development, not a geopolitical arena. Attempts to turn the Asia-Pacific region into a bloc, NATO or the Cold War will never succeed, Wang said.

The Quartet, made up of the United States, Japan, India and Australia, has focused on the free and open Indo-Pacific, while Beijing has likened it to the “Asian NATO” to contain its rise.

The United States, India and many other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of China’s increasing military maneuvers in the resource-rich region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military facilities in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.

Wang said the Indo-Pacific strategy “created by” the United States, in the name of “freedom and openness”, is eager to form “groups.” China claims that the gathering intends to “change the environment around China”. Its purpose is to contain China and make the Asia-Pacific countries “pawns” of US hegemony, Wang said.

He said it is especially dangerous for the United States to hide, provoke and play the “Taiwan” and “South China Sea” cards.

“He tried to corrupt other regions and then tamper with the Asia-Pacific region as well. The facts will prove that the so-called ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’ is in essence a strategy to create division, incite confrontation and undermine peace,” he said.

No matter how much is packaged or hidden, it will inevitably fail in the end. He said that the peoples of this region should tell the United States that the outdated Cold War scenario should not be repeated in Asia, and that the turmoil and war going on in the world should not occur in this region.

Wang said that the Indo-Pacific concept not only attempts to erase the name “Asia and the Pacific” and the structure of effective regional cooperation in the region, but also tries to eliminate the achievements and momentum of peaceful development created by the concerted efforts of countries. in the region over the past decades.

He said that the Asia-Pacific region has new memories of conflicts and confrontations that were dominated by hegemony and is now striving for national stability and happiness.

There is a general reluctance among Asia-Pacific countries to take sides. He said the prevailing voice is that all countries should live in harmony and seek win-win cooperation.

He said the trend in the Asia-Pacific region is to promote regional integration and build an Asia-Pacific community with a common future.

In the face of turmoil and changes in the world, the region has maintained overall peace and stability. Wang said that Asia was the first to emerge from the shadow of the epidemic, with GDP growth of 6.3 percent in 2021. This was not easily achieved, thanks to the solidarity of the Asia-Pacific countries and the hard work of their people.

Wang also attacked the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” (IPEF) that Biden will launch in Tokyo on the sidelines of the Quartet summit.

China, like countries in the region, is pleased to see initiatives that help strengthen regional cooperation. But he said he opposes a plot to create a divided confrontation.

“First of all, we should draw a big question mark and see through the hidden plot behind it,” he said.

First, free trade must be promoted, and disguised protectionism must not be pursued.

Asia is very receptive to globalization and free trade. The region has achieved notable achievements. In compliance with WTO rules, he said, the parties had set the trade goal of creating an Asia-Pacific free zone, launched the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and established a regional cooperation platform with ASEAN at the center.

China has vigorously promoted regional trade, liberalization and investment facilitation. Wang said the United States, on the other hand, opposed free trade by resorting to protectionism and withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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