The "Indo-Pacific" concept has been created by the US to rope in India and its other allies as the Asia-Pacific is not enough to contain China, a top Chinese diplomat has said.
The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.
“The Indo-Pacific concept is created by the US to contain China. In fact, there is no such concept as 'Indo-Pacific' in geopolitics," China's Ambassador to France, Lu Shaye said during a media interaction on December 7.
"In the past, we used to talk about the Pacific or the Asia-Pacific region, never about the 'Indo-Pacific'", Lu, known as China’s “wolf warrior" diplomat, was quoted by the Chinese Embassy website in France.
“Why did the Americans include the Indian Ocean? Because they believe that their Asia-Pacific allies alone are no longer enough to contain China, they want to bring in India and other US Allies, such as France, which considers itself an Indo-Pacific country. This is wrong," he said.
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. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
China and its diplomats have been attacking the Indo-Pacific concept from the beginning claiming that it is aimed at containing Beijing.
China has also been attacking the Quad grouping, saying building small cliques and stoking bloc confrontation is the real threat to a peaceful, stable and cooperative maritime order.
The Quad comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia. PTI KJV PMS AKJ PMS PMS PMS