China on Tuesday hit out at the upcoming summit of the leaders of the Quad — India, Australia, Japan and the United States — describing the group as a “close and exclusive clique” that was “doomed to fail”.
“It is China’s consistent belief that any regional cooperation mechanism should follow the trend of peace and development, and help promote mutual trust and cooperation among regional countries rather than target a third party or undermine its interests,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said to a question at a daily briefing about the September 24 summit in Washington, which will be attended by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi, Scott Morrison (Australia) and Yoshihide Suga (Japan) and U.S. President Joe Biden.
“Forming closed and exclusive cliques targeting other countries runs counter to the trend of the times and deviates from the expectation of regional countries. It thus wins no support and is doomed to fail,” Mr. Zhao said.
Beijing steps up criticism
Chinese officials initially dismissed the Quad, once described by Foreign Minister Wang Yi as an idea akin to “sea foam” that would ‘dissipate’. Beijing has, however, recently stepped up criticism of the grouping as its profile grows, including through the first virtual leaders summit held earlier this year and the first in person summit later this month.
Mr. Zhao called on “relevant countries” to “discard the outdated zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical perception, view China’s development correctly and respect people’s aspiration in the region and do more that is conducive to solidarity and cooperation of regional countries.”