China’s white paper indirectly refers to ‘Quad’

Beijing: Without naming “Quad” – the informal grouping of the US, Japan, Australia and India in Beijing’s backyard, China’s white paper on defence released on Wednesday said competition in the Asia-Pacific is bringing uncertainties to regional security.

The Chinese Defence Ministry issued the white paper outlining plans to build a high-tech Army and chided the US for “undermining the global strategic stability”.

“The world economic and strategic centre continues to shift towards the Asia-Pacific. The region has become a focus of major country competition, bringing uncertainties to regional security,” said the white paper titled “China’s National Defence in the New Era”.

“Asia-Pacific countries are increasingly aware that they are members of a community with a shared destiny. Addressing differences and disputes through dialogue and consultation has become a preferred policy option for regional countries, making the region a stable part of the global landscape,” the document said.

What China calls Asia-Pacific has increasingly been referred to as “Indo-Pacific” by the US where it wants India, Japan and Australia to form a bloc to counter the flexing of muscles by Beijing in the region.

Known as “Quad”. the idea of the bloc was floated by Japan in 2007 but India had refused to be a part of it, fearing the move could anger Beijing.

However, with Beijing pursuing an aggressive policy in the international waters, the four countries have begun talks again but these have not been formalized yet.

Beijing sees the potential grouping with suspicion and has dismissed it as “sea foam”.