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China today reacted sharply to the quadrilateral coalition between the US, Japan, Australia and India and its Indo-Pacific concept, saying it was a "headline grabbing" idea which will "dissipate like sea foam".
Asked if theIndo-Pacific strategy being furthered by the four-nation grouping will affect China's multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it was a "headline grabbing" exercise.
There was "no shortage of headline grabbing ideas" but they were "like the foam on the sea" that "gets attention but will soon dissipate", he told a press conference on the sidelines of parliament, the National Peoples Congress (NPC).
Wang said contrary to the claims made by some academics and media outlets that the strategy was aimed at containing China, the four countries have made it clear that it targets no one.
"I hope they mean what they say," he said.
While the US officials have been highlighting Indo-Pacific including the Indian Ocean as well as the South China Sea in the Pacific, officials of India, China, Japan and Australia held a working level meeting of the "quad" last year in Manila.
"Let us not forget the BRI has received the support of over 100 countries. Nowadays stroking a new Cold War is out of sync with the times and inciting confrontation will find no market," Wang said.
It also includes the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which India opposes as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Wang also said it was time the "China threat theory" was laid to rest,asserting that Beijing's contribution to the global economic growth was bigger than the US, Japan and the European Union combined.
Those who do not have bias or practice double standards will see China's development as an opportunity instead of a threat, Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the national legislature's annual session.
Noting that for decades the West has made all kinds of assessment and predictions about China, Wang said to some Westerners China was either collapsing or threatening.
Wang said for years China had been the leading contributor to global economic growth at more than 30 per cent.
"Chinas contribution is bigger than that of the United States, Japan and euro zone combined," he said.
China accounts for more than 70 per cent of poverty reduction worldwide, a miracle in human history, he said.
In the past five years, with its Belt and Road Initiative and other major proposals, China has come to the fore in championing global governance, free trade and an open global economy, besides contributing to the UN Peace Keeping Force, Wang said.
He also said China was on a long march to modernisation and has no need or intention to replace the US' international role.
"Some Americans allege that China will replace America's role in the world. This conclusion is fundamentally wrong," Wang said.
Responding to question on US President Donald Trump's move to raise tariffs on steel and aluminium, Wang said trade war was never the right solution as it will harm both the initiator as well as the target country in a globalised world.
"In the event of a trade war, China will make a justified and necessary response," Wang said.
"We hope China and the US will have a calm and constructive dialogue as equals, and find a win-win solution," he said.
Despite elements of competition, China-US ties are defined more by partnership than rivalry, he added.
Wang lauded Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is set to become Chinese leader for life as NPC is expected to ratify a constitutional proposal to remove the term limits for President.
Xi, who is in his second five-year term, is regarded as the most powerful leader as he heads the ruling Communist Party and the military.
He has visited 57 countries and received more than 110 foreign heads of state since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, deepening the world's understanding of China, enhancing China's profile and influence, and facilitating the solution to many global problems, Wang said.
Apart from hosting the four major events in China, Xi will attend the BRICS Summit in South Africa, the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Papua New Guinea and the G20 Summit in Argentina this year, he said.