February 16

By James Brook

China has slammed the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy, saying that it has no future and resurrects the “Cold War mentality” and “bloc politics” besides bringing divisions and turbulence to the region.

“I want to point out that ill intentions underlie the so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy” devised under the pretext of “the China threat”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told media here on Monday, commenting on the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy released last week.

“This ‘strategy’ that resurrects the Cold War mentality and bloc politics has nothing new and no future, but will only bring division and turbulence to the Asia-Pacific”, Wang said.

What the US says in its “Indo-Pacific strategy” is different from what it is actually doing, he said.

The report on US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy, released last week, outlines President Joe Biden’s vision to firmly anchor the country’s position in the Indo-Pacific, strengthen the region and support India’s rise and regional leadership in the process.

China, the strategic report said, is combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological might as it pursues a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific and seeks to become the world’s most influential power.

The Chinese coercion and aggression spans the globe, but it is most acute in the Indo-Pacific, it said.

China is also undermining human rights and international law, including freedom of navigation, as well as other principles that have brought stability and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific, the strategy report said.

The report says that the US will strengthen its relationships with leading regional partners, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands.

“The US claims to advance ‘freedom and openness’ in the region, but is in fact forming an exclusive clique through AUKUS (US, UK, Australia) and QUAD”, (US, India, Australia and Japan),” he said.

The strategy asserts to strengthen regional security, but is generating grave nuclear proliferation risks that would undermine regional peace and stability, he said.

“It professes to promote regional prosperity, but is stoking opposition and confrontation between regional countries which undercuts the ASEAN-cantered regional cooperation architecture that has formed over the years, and poses a serious threat to regional cooperation outcomes and development prospects”, he said.

The strategic report on the Indo-Pacific was released on Friday, a day when a Quad Ministerial was held in Melbourne, Australia where the foreign ministers from Australia, India, Japan and the US Friday expressed concern over the malign Chinese role in the region. PTI

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