Ahead of Quad meeting on May 24, China slammed the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy on May 22, claiming that it is “doomed to fail” because it is fiercely advocated by Washington to “contain” Beijing. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi further alleged that the four-nation alliance was formed under the guise of freedom and openness, but with the intent of enclosing China.

During a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the “Indo-Pacific strategy” is causing increasing vigilance and concern in the international community, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. His remarks came ahead of the Quad Summit, which will be held on May 24 in Tokyo and will include US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and their Japanese and Australian counterparts.

Wang said, “The US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy is causing more and more vigilance and concern in the international community, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. No matter how much it is packaged or disguised, it will inevitably fail in the end. The people of this region should tell the US that the outdated Cold War scenario should never be repeated in Asia, and the turmoil and war that are taking place in the world should never happen in this region.”

China opposes the Indo-Pacific strategic concept

Notably, US President Biden held the first in-person gathering of Quad leaders in Washington in September 2021. China refers to the region as the Asia-Pacific region, and it opposes the Indo-Pacific strategic concept, which rose to prominence during President Donald Trump’s presidency and is being aggressively pursued by his successor Joe Biden. According to Wang, rather than a geopolitical arena, the Asia-Pacific should become a plateau for peaceful development.

He went on to say that attempts to transform the Asia-Pacific into a bloc, NATO, or the Cold War, will never succeed. The Quad, which consists of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia, focuses on a free and open Indo-Pacific, while Beijing compares it to a “Asian NATO” aimed at containing China’s ascent. In the face of China’s increased military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region, the US, India, and a number of other world powers have discussed the importance of ensuring a free, open, and vibrant Indo-Pacific.

Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam all claim parts of the disputed South China Sea, while China claims practically all of it. In the South China Sea, Beijing has constructed artificial islands and military outposts. In the East China Sea, China has territorial disputes with Japan.

(With agency inputs, Image: AP)