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Newsline: Top US diplomat denies the Quad’s purpose is to counter a rising China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected the notion that the informal “Quad” alliance of the US, Australia, India and Japan exists only to counter a rising and more assertive China. “This is not about standing against anyone in particular,” Blinken told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation when asked whether the group’s goal was to offset China’s influence in the region. “It is about standing up for a rules-based order, making sure that we uphold those rules and principles if they’re being challenged.” (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3166607/top-us-diplomat-denies-quads-purpose-counter-rising-china) Blinken’s interview came in the middle of a multi-day trip across the Pacific, and ahead of a meeting among the four Quad foreign ministers. A senior US State Department official said last week it would likely discuss the “challenges that China poses” to democratic values in the region. Analysts and former officials say that Blinken’s remarks – including an apparent unwillingness to mention China by name while discussing the Quad’s goals – reflect the delicate balance that the Joe Biden administration has to strike when corralling allies and confronting another superpower.

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