China hopes quadrilateral meet not directed against it
Beijing: Skirting any direct response to the first quadrilateral meeting of India, US, Japan and Australia, China on Monday questioned its exclusion from the group and expressed hope that the new concept of 'Indo-Pacific' is not directed against it.
"The relevant proposals should be open and inclusive and should be conducive to win-win cooperation and avoid politicising or excluding the relevant parties," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a media briefing here.
He was answering a spate of questions on the Indo-Pacific concept and the quadrilateral meeting held yesterday in Manila. Asked whether he meant "exclusion of the relevant parties" referred to the omission of China, Geng said China welcomes the development of friendly cooperation between relevant countries.
"We hope this kind of relations will not be directed at a third party and conducive to the regional peace and stability. This is a general concept and I think this kind of position applies to any proposal," he said.
Giving shape and substance to the Indo-Pacific concept by virtually replacing the previous Asia-Pacific, the US, India, Japan and Australia yesterday held their first official-level talks in Manila ahead of the ASEAN summit with a focus on keeping the region "free and open", amid China's growing military presence in the strategic area. The move is seen as counter to China's aggressive behaviour in the area. They agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.
The officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism.