Australia’s decision this week to rejoin the military Exercise Malabar 2020 set for November was highlighted as a clique flexing muscles in the Asian-Pacific region.
The decision, announced after the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad) held in Tokyo, has pulled Australia militarily back into the Quad, an informal strategic forum originally formed by the United States, Japan, Australia and India in 2007.
Some Western media, joined by the Indian ones, have reported that this year’s Malabar drill “is expected to irk China” or in provocative words of the kind, making the Quad seemed more like an “anti-China bloc.”
There is no reason for China to be messed around with such baseless speculations as China, though having taken note of the latest development, has made it clear that military cooperation between countries should be conducive to regional peace and stability.
Thus, regional situation should be taken into account when a drill is schemed and the motivation behind it explored.
After a long-time hiatus, the Quad reconvened in 2017 when the United States proposed the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy on the East Asia cooperation, which, based on an obsolete Cold War mentality, is aimed at stoking geopolitical competition and confrontation so as to contain the region’s development.
As the Asia-Pacific region remains embroiled in myriad challenges at various levels brought by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, what the region needs the most is solidarity, peace and stability.
Highly-sensitive actions or disruptive attempts such as a motivated massive drill will only create tension and confrontation and act counter to the will of the people in the region.
Against this backdrop, the upcoming military drill, the first to include all four Quad members since 2017, seems more like, at least judging from the Quad countries’ mainstream media reports, a sign that the bloc is mulling military and security cooperation for self-serving political interests.
The Cold War mentality is as poisonous as history has proven. Asia-Pacific countries should jointly resist such a detrimental mentality and team up to promote peace and development for their own good.
Meanwhile, the Quad members need to realize that attempting to stir up rivalry in the region goes against the trend of the times and will definitely not be accepted by major countries worldwide.
As COVID-19 is still raging, it is imperative that all Asia-Pacific countries join hands to battle the pandemic and facilitate economic recovery. Some countries’ attempts to advocate a Cold War mentality and create chaos in the region will only shoot themselves in the foot.
Peace and cooperation remain as the dominant trend in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in the rest of world. However, uncertainties have also multiplied due to the deliberate manipulation by some powers. Therefore, it is more urgent that countries in the region solve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and enhance mutual trust so as to promote regional peace and stability. Xinhua Editors