China on Monday slammed what it termed the “forming of cliques” targeting certain countries. 

In an era of globalization, forming “cliques” with ideologies and targeting specific countries undermines international order and will lead nowhere, said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian.

The statement came against the backdrop of the first virtual meeting held by the US with its allies Japan, Australia and India — a loosely knit group called the Quad — apparently to “contain” China’s rising influence.

The Quad leaders held the meeting last week, with US President Joe Biden calling for a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Zhao also asked Washington to treat China and Sino-US ties in an “objective way and promote the healthy development of bilateral ties,” the state-run CGTN news channel reported.

China is always a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order, he said.

He was reacting to a statement by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who claimed that his country intends to foster a “credible deterrence” against China ahead of his visit to Japan and South Korea.

Austin is accompanying his colleague Secretary of State Antony Blinken on their first foreign trip to South Korea and Japan this week.

The Biden administration was sworn-in in January.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.