The external affairs ministry on Friday informed the Lok Sabha, without naming China, that India had taken note of attempts to discredit the Quad — the plurilateral framework comprising Australia, India, Japan and the US — through disinformation.
Minister of state for external affairs V. Muraleedharan said this while responding to a specific question on “whether the government has taken note of the opposition of China to the Quad group of which India is also a member”.
In his written reply to the unstarred question, the minister said: “Quad leaders and ministers have taken note of attempts to discredit Quad through disinformation.”
Ever since the Quad was resurrected in 2017, Beijing has time and again spoken out against it, billing it an “exclusive clique” that portrays China as a challenge and sows discord.
About the Quad, Muraleedharan said: “Quad countries share a commitment to uphold a free, open, inclusive, prosperous and peaceful Indo-Pacific region based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, international law and the rulesbased international order.”
About a year ago, the Chinese foreign ministry had said: “The US... is forming an exclusive clique through AUKUS and QUAD. It asserts to strengthen regional security, but is generating grave nuclear proliferation risks that would undermine regional peace and stability.
“It professes to promote regional prosperity, but is stoking opposition and confrontation between regional countries which undercuts the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture that has formed over the years, and poses a serious threat to regional cooperation outcomes and development prospects.”