BEIJING: China on Thursday said the arrangement between the US, India, Japan and Australia - dubbed as quad - apparently to contain China was like "sea foam" and would "dissipate" soon.
India and Australia have shown willingness to join the quadrilateral security initiative, an idea floated by Japan in 2007. The emergence of the bloc seemingly to counter an increasingly assertive China in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean has worried Beijing.
"It seems that there is never a shortage of headline-grabbing ideas. These ideas are like sea foam in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. They may get some attention but soon dissipate," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Wang was replying to a question about the grouping's apparent aim to counter China and its multi-billion dollar connectivity, the Belt and Road project.
The four countries are reportedly in talks with each other to set up a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to the Belt and Road initiative.
"Contrary to the claim made by some academics and media outlets that the Indo-Pacific strategy aims to contain China, the four countries' official position is that it targets no one.
"I hope they mean what they say and their action will match their rhetoric.
"As to the relationship between Indo-Pacific strategy and the Belt and Road initiative, let us not forget that BRI has received the support of over 100 countries," he added.
The US, India, Japan and Australia have growing concerns over China's increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and its ambitious Belt and Road connectivity project.
India opposes the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road project whose key artery, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, cuts through the part of Kashmir held by Islamabad.
A section in the Australian government also believes that it is not a mere economic project, as claimed by Beijing, but also a geopolitical one.
China's presence has increased in the Indian Ocean and worried India.
Japan is also worried about China's growing naval strength. Both powers have disputes over the islands in the East China Sea.