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Iran Press TV

Beijing reacts as Pompeo urges 'Quad' alliance against China's 'exploitation'

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 07 October 2020 7:15 AM

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blasted what he referred to as China's "exploitation," prompting Chinese officials to tell the US top diplomat to drop his "Cold War" mentality.

At a "Quad" Indo-Pacific meeting in Japan's capital city, Tokyo, on Tuesday, the top US diplomat urged Japan, India, and Australia to team up with the US to create a formalized military alliance and a united front against China. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, is an informal strategic forum involving the United States, Japan, Australia, and India.

"[I]t is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP's exploitation," Pompeo said, referring to China's Communist Party.

He said Washington sought to stop China's influence "in the South and East China Seas, the Mekong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan Strait."

Pompeo urged Washington's Southeast Asian allies to formalize and potentially strengthen the Quad alliance. "Once we've institutionalized what we're doing — the four of us together — we can begin to build out a true security framework," he said.

In an interview with Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Pompeo insisted that it was important that the Quad have a "shared picture" of what he called the challenge they faced against China.

The strong anti-Beijing rhetoric by the US's top diplomat comes amid high tensions between the US and China.

Japan, India, and Australia have strong business and trade ties with China. None of their foreign ministers talked directly against Beijing at the Quad meeting.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the group "emphasized that… it was vital that states work to ease tensions and avoid exacerbating long-standing disputes, work to counter disinformation and refrain from malicious cyberspace activity."

"Ministers reiterated that states cannot assert maritime claims that are inconsistent with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," Payne said, an indirect reference to China's development programs in the South China Sea.

The Quad members agreed to strengthen cooperation with regional partners, including in the Mekong, and convene Quad ministerial meetings on a regular basis, she said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, for his part, said the Quad member states had agreed to continue talks on infrastructure, cybersecurity, and other areas.

However, there was no joint statement from the members.

Analysts believe the military alliance pursued by Pompeo may never take shape, given the need for countries in the region to balance their relationships with China.

The US President Donald Trump administration has taken an increasingly anti-China posture since it assumed office. Pompeo has formerly called for regime change in China.

On Wednesday, Beijing urged Washington to stop its unprovoked attacks and accusations against China.

The Chinese Embassy in Japan said in a statement that Pompeo was maliciously creating political confrontation with Beijing.

"We once again urge the US to abandon its Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, stop unprovoked accusations and attacks against China and treat relations with China in a constructive manner," the embassy said.

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