'Lying Diplomacy': China Hits Out at India, Japan as Quad Members Accused It of Economic Coercion
16:55 GMT 24.09.2021 (Updated: 17:56 GMT 24.09.2021)
The Quad nations - a India, the US, Japan, and Australia - have been trying to cut their economies' dependence on China for a long time. But, commerce data released by the group's countries shows rising trade with China despite their efforts at conscious uncoupling.
On Friday, China blasted India and Japan after Quad members accused Beijing of employing "economic coercion" in the Indo-Pacific region. Zhao Lijian, a spokesman of China's foreign ministry, said "lying diplomacy" and "smearing diplomacy" are not constructive and must be stopped.
"The origin and headquarters of the so-called 'economic coercion' are in Washington, DC. China does not wantonly bully others and impose sanctions, exercise long-arm jurisdiction, or arbitrarily oppress foreign companies. China can by no means be accused of 'economic coercion'."
The Chinese spokesman launched his scathing attack after Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga discussed the issues of the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and economic coercion, in a meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday.
Zhao also said that China has committed itself firmly to safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests and the country is ready to handle differences with countries through consultation and negotiation.
Modi and Suga have reaffirmed their intention of working closely with each other and with the other Quad members to form an international maritime order based on the rule of law.
"The two leaders shared strong opposition to the economic coercion and unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas," the statement issued by the Japanese foreign ministry read. However, in the press release issued by India, those references are missing.
Measures such as high import tariffs, dumping of products at lower rates, among others, allegedly done by Beijing in the past two years against the countries in the region, are considered by the Quad as "economic coercion".
On 16 September, Australia and the US also called China out for "the coercive use of trade and economic measures that undermine rules-based trade
"All countries should be free to make security, political, diplomatic, and economic choices free from external coercion, and that they view close US-Australian coordination as critical to this end, including to support countries in the Indo-Pacific region," a joint statement issued after the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations read.
Beijing has rolled out tariffs, and other trade actions against Australian export sectors, including barley, wine, seafood, and coal, after a diplomatic row erupted between them in the wake of a ban on tech giant Huawei from Australia's 5G network.