While remaining three Quad states backed India against Chinese aggression along the LAC the issue was not included in joint statement issued at the end of the Summit as this is a bilateral issue between India and China, ET has reliably learnt. There was mention of territorial integrity in the Indo-Pacific region without any direct reference to LAC.
The Joint Statement titled “The Spirit of the Quad” noted, “We support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity. We commit to work together and with a range of partners…. We will continue to prioritize the role of international law in the maritime domain, particularly as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges to the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas.”
There was mention of South China Sea & East China Sea tensions in the Quad Summit Joint Statement as Chinese ambitions in these regions have global implications.
The four has possibility to balance China’s ambitions through emphasis on Freedom of Navigation in the key Sea Lanes of Communication in South China Sea region and East China Sea region.
Meanwhile China pulled up countries “forming enclosed small cliques”, describing it as “the sure way to destroy the international order”.
Monday’s statement from China was the latest that took aim at the four-country grouping, and the strongest one so far. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused “certain countries”, without naming them, of being “keen to exaggerate and hype up the so-called ‘China threat’ to sow discord among regional countries, especially to disrupt their relations with China.”
“However, their actions, running counter to the trend of the times of peace, development and cooperation and the common aspirations of the countries and peoples in the region, will not be welcomed or succeed,” he said in response to a question about Friday’s virtual summit attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Exchanges and cooperation between countries should help expand mutual understanding and trust, instead of targeting or harming the interests of third parties,” Zhao said. “Certain countries should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice, refrain from forming closed and exclusive small circles, and do more things that are conducive to solidarity and cooperation among regional countries and regional peace and stability.”