Beijing: – The rising eagerness of the countries from the Indo-Pacific to join the QUAD cooperation started by India, Japan, Australia and the United States has made China wary, and hence, it is preparing to connect with its neighbouring countries. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has started visiting ASEAN countries and is trying to lure them with offers to supply Coronavirus vaccine and increase trade cooperation. Foreign Minister Wang Yi is also making a pitiful attempt to convince the ASEAN countries that QUAD, as well as collaboration with the United States, are a threat to the security of the south-east Asian countries.
Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi went on an urgent visit to the ASEAN countries. He visited the south-east Asian countries after the visit of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the region. Last month, US Secretary of State, Pompeo, visited five south-east Asian countries, namely Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, and offered economic and other cooperative measures. At the same time, the US Secretary of State also proposed to the ASEAN countries to join QUAD, formed to counter the Chinese expansionist activities.
The increased patrolling by the US warships in the South China Sea is receiving increasing support from Vietnam and the Philippines. The Philippines has started moves to offer a naval base to the United States. China is anxious that in this scenario if the ASEAN countries join QUAD, it will jolt the Chinese domination. Against this background, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hastily visited Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia to propose a free trade agreement. At the same time, the Chinese Foreign Minister also offered to provide medical assistance and the vaccine against Coronavirus, being prepared by China. Wang also suggested that these countries should not join the QUAD cooperation.
The Chinese Foreign Minister accused that ‘QUAD is a concept arising out of the Cold War mentality and the United States is trying to form a group of nations to spark competition with another group. All these efforts of the United States are for domination in the south-east Asian region. QUAD is a challenge to the unity of the ASEAN countries and also poses a challenge to the security of the region.’ Wang shared this with the Chinese government media after completion of his visit to the south-east Asian countries. At the same time, the Chinese Foreign Minister clarified that China would not allow the US conspiracy to form QUAD with the ASEAN countries to succeed.
The ASEAN countries, who have consistently been threatened by China in the past, are unlikely to believe in China. China has realised that these countries have lost faith in China, and it is time for a huge payback. Therefore, China is appealing to the ASEAN countries not to join the QUAD cooperation started by India, Japan, Australia and the United States. But, the south-east Asian countries, who were always treated like dirt by China, because of its military and economic might, along with countries like the United Kingdom, France and Canada are taking the initiative to teach China a lesson. It is evident from the visit of Wang Yi to the south-east Asian countries that China has been baffled because of this.