Beijing: China on Monday slammed the Quad grouping, saying some countries are forming "exclusive cliques" and "hyping" the 'China threat' and the move is doomed to fail.
The Quad leaders at their first-in-person summit in Washington on September 25 pledged to ensure a "free and open" Indo-Pacific, which is also "inclusive and resilient", as they noted that the strategically vital region, witnessing China's growing military manoeuvring, is a bedrock of their shared security and prosperity.
PM Narendra Modi, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden described the summit as an opportunity to refocus themselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on their vision for what they hope to achieve.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that China is "closely following the situation".
"For some time, a handful of countries have been obsessed with attacking China by citing the rules-based order. They hype up the 'China threat'," she said.
"Facts have shown that China is an advocate of world peace, provider of public goods and China's development is important to international development. Coercion and undermining of international order can by no means be pinned on to China," she said.
China, she said, upholds the UN centred international order and rules-based international law.
"We don't think that the rules can be defined by a few countries. What the US wants is the rules where it can wantonly interfere with other countries without paying any price. It is the rule under which the US can bully in any manner and other countries bow to its hegemony which is against the trends of the times and aspirations of the people," she said.
"It will not be popular and is doomed to fail," she reiterated.
"China believes that any multilateral order should follow the trend of times, be conducive to enhance mutual trust between countries and refrain from undermining the interest of third countries," she said.
"Relevant countries should abandon the Cold War zero-sum mentality, stop seeking exclusive cliques and do things that are conducive to regional peace and stability," Hua said.
The Quad leaders said in a joint statement "together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
"We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states. We commit to working together and with a range of partners." In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China's growing military presence in the strategic region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.