Beijing [China], September 14 (ANI): China on Tuesday slammed the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) upcoming summit on September 24 saying that the group was "closed, exclusive, and targeted small circles...unpopular and have no way out."
US President Joe Biden will be hosting the first in-person Quad summit on September 24 in Washington which will be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Australian and Japanese counterparts Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga respectively.
In a media briefing, when Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was asked about the upcoming Quad summit, he said, "The closed, exclusive, and targeted 'small circles' against other countries go against the trend of the times and run counter to the aspirations of regional countries. They are unpopular and have no way out."
China earlier termed Quad as an "Asian NATO", which was vehemently opposed by the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the inaugural 2+2 ministerial meeting between India and Australia.
"Quad is a platform where four countries have come to cooperate for their benefit and benefit of the world. I think a term like NATO (by China) is a Cold war term, looking back. The quad looks at the future. It reflects globalisation and the compulsion of countries to work together," EAM Jaishankar said while responding to a question on China referring to Quad as "Asian NATO".
Citing various areas of cooperation between the Quad nations, EAM Jaishankar spoke against the misinterpretation of reality and said that there is no relation between the terms NATO and Quad.
Zhao also said that any "regional cooperation mechanism should not target or harm the interests of third parties."
"China has always believed that any regional cooperation mechanism should conform to the trend of the times of peace and development, and help promote mutual trust and cooperation among countries in the region, and should not target or harm the interests of third parties," he said.
Emphasising that China is the main engine of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, Zhao added, "I want to emphasise that China is not only the main engine of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region but also a staunch defender of regional peace and stability. China's development is the growth of the power for world peace and the gospel of regional prosperity and development."
In a veiled threat to Quad, he said that they "should abandon outdated zero-sum game thinking and narrow geopolitical concepts."
"Relevant countries should abandon outdated zero-sum game thinking and narrow geopolitical concepts, take a correct view of China's development, respect the hearts of the people in the region, and do more things that are conducive to promoting the unity and cooperation of regional countries," Zhao added.
China has always seen Quad with suspicion. It had reacted strongly against the first virtual meeting of Quad leaders in March.
As per Beijing, the group was formed to counter China's assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific region.
The Indo-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system. (ANI)