Quad FMs, wary of China’s might, push Indo-Pacific options

NEW DELHI (AP) — The top diplomats of Australia, India, Japan and the United States say their Indo-Pacific-focused bloc is not aimed at China, but their latest words reflect growing unease over China’s influence in the region. The four foreign ministers, meeting in New Delhi, insisted the so-called Quad group is designed to boost their own national interests and improve those of others through enhanced cooperation in non-military areas. Yet their comments at a joint event and in a written statement made clear the grouping exists to be an alternative to China. They made repeated references to the importance of democracy, freedom, rule of law, maritime security and the peaceful settlement of disputes, all of which Beijing regards with suspicion when coming from Quad members.