Blinken was speaking shortly before he met the foreign ministers of Australia, India and Japan. The four countries form the so-called Quad (Quad), an alliance of Indo-Pacific democracies created to counter China’s regional influence.
In response to a reporter’s question whether a confrontation with China in the Indo-Pacific is inevitable, the US Secretary of State replied: “Nothing is inevitable.”
“I think we share our concerns that in recent years China has been behaving more aggressively at home and more aggressively in the region and perhaps already outside,” the Associated Press quoted Blinken as saying.
He emphasized that the Quartet partners are united by a “positive vision of what the future can achieve” and a commitment to defend the rules-based order that we have spent tremendous time and effort building.
Blinken’s trip aims to advance US interests in Asia and its determination to counter China’s growing ambitions in the region. He will also visit Fiji and discuss pressing concerns about North Korea with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Hawaii.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry this week accused the United States of using the Quartet to force other countries to accept the standards of American democracy.