The future of the Quad has been dealt a “fatal blow” and is in decline, China says, and it sets the stage for other “US-led anti-China cliques” to suffer the same fate.
Hours after Beijing’s top diplomat in Australia, ambassador Xiao Qian, issued a warning to Australia’s leaders on its participation in the alliance, Chinese government mouthpiece the Global Times said the cancellation of the Quad is an “omen” of the summit’s fate.
The Quad, which was to be held in Sydney next week, was scrapped after Joe Biden was forced to cancel his travel plans to deal with domestic disputes over the country’s debt ceiling.
Western commentators have been quick to call it a “win” for China, noting the Quad is a tool to counter rising Chinese influence.
Chinese commentators have criticised the West for making the Quad about China; describing that language as another nail in the coffin for the future of the alliance, and further confirming it as a geopolitical tool against China.
“If Western observers still believe in Quad, their analyses should be full of content about innovative ways to contain China and make the West great again,” the Global Times article stated.
“There is no such wording, but only disappointment in the US.”
China said the US government wasn’t the only one “facing a crisis”, but the Quad more broadly.
“After all, it won’t be easy to boost something that goes against the trend of the times,” China said.
The mouthpiece said the US should be concerned about its “crumbling credibility”, citing a “growing discussion” in Australia about the AUKUS submarine deal and whether Canberra would be “exploited” by Washington.
“When more and more such discussions, speculations, and doubts emerge, the dynamic of Quad will only decline,” China said.
“The cancellation of the Sydney summit is a fatal blow to Quad, experts said. It also foreshadows the fate of other US-led anti-China cliques.”
On Thursday, Mr Xiao would not be drawn on the cancelled summit, saying only that China wanted its “friendly partner” to consider its relationship with Beijing in the context of the alliance.
“Our position which is pretty clear, we hope that the members of the Quad, and especially Australia as a friendly partner to China, would take into consideration Australia’s interests to keep taking into consideration the relationship with China,” he said.
Mr Xiao announced on Thursday a winding back of timber trade impediments, in a win for Australia’s timber industry.
Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said it was the latest sign the relationship with China was stabilising.
“We see stabilising the relationship as encompassing co-operation where we can, disagreement where we must, and continued engagement,” she said from the Philippines on Thursday.
“We see stabilising as managing our differences wisely, and that means both countries manage their differences wisely.
“We hope that there is the removal of (further) trade impediments … We’ve made it clear to China that we think it’s in both countries’ interests for those trade impediments to be removed.”