China critical of PM's meeting with allies

Scott Morrison's US trip will include the first face-to-face meeting of Quad leaders.
Scott Morrison's US trip will include the first face-to-face meeting of Quad leaders.

China has declared Australia's high-level Quad grouping with the US, India and Japan is doomed to fail ahead of Scott Morrison's meeting with counterparts.

The prime minister will visit Washington DC next week for his first American trip since Joe Biden took office.

The trip will include the first face-to-face meeting of Quad leaders, including the US president, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Japan's Yoshihide Suga.

Quad nations have been seeking to enhance cooperation to push back against China's growing assertiveness.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the group should not target a third party or undermine other countries' interests.

"Forming closed and exclusive cliques targeting other countries runs counter to the trend of the times and deviates from the expectation of regional countries," he told reporters in Beijing.

"It thus wins no support and is doomed to fail."

Mr Zhao said China's development was a force for world peace and a boon for regional prosperity.

"Relevant countries should discard the outdated zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical perception," he said.

Mr Morrison noted the importance of the Quad in the lead-up to the meeting.

"Reconvening this important group reinforces our commitment to the Indo-Pacific COVID-19 recovery, and our efforts towards peace, prosperity and stability in our region," he said.

Australian Associated Press