China on Sunday launched a broadside against the Indo-Pacific strategy of the United States ahead of the summit of Quad leaders in Japan, saying that it is “bound to fail” as it is vigorously promoted by Washington to “contain” Beijing.
The “Indo-Pacific strategy” is leading to more and more vigilance and concern in the international community, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said when asked to comment on it at his joint press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Guangzhou.
The US “Indo-Pacific Strategy” is bound to be a failed strategy, Wang said in the comments posted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on its website.
His comments came ahead of the Quad summit to be held in Tokyo on May 24 in which US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his counterparts from Japan and Australia will take part.
China refers to the area as Asia- Pacific region and is averse to the Indo- Pacific strategic concept which has gained prominence during previous US President Donald Trump’s tenure and is being vigorously pursued by his successor Joe Biden.
The Asia-Pacific should become a plateau for peaceful development, rather than a geopolitical arena. Attempts to turn the Asia-Pacific into a bloc like NATO or a springboard for Cold War will never succeed, Wang said.
The Quad grouping is focussed on creating a free and open Indo-Pacific while Beijing likens it to ‘Asian NATO’ aimed at containing its rise.
The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring 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 installations in the South China Sea. It also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
Wang said that the Indo-Pacific strategy “cooked up” by the US, in the name of “freedom and openness”, is keen on forming “cliques”. China claims that the grouping intends to “change China’s surrounding environment”. Its purpose is to contain China and make Asia-Pacific countries serve as “pawns” of the US hegemony, Wang said.
What is particularly dangerous is for the US to shed its disguise, provoke and play the “Taiwan” and “South China Sea” cards, he said.
“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,” he said.
Wang said the Indo-Pacific concept is not only trying to erase the name “Asia-Pacific” and the effective regional cooperation architecture in the region, but also trying to wipe out the achievements and momentum of peaceful development created by the concerted efforts of countries in the region over the past decades.