BEIJING, May 23 — China’s foreign minister said Sunday US diplomatic strategy in Asia was doomed to fail, state media reported, as President Joe Biden underlined Washington’s commitment to the region during a visit to South Korea and Japan.

Biden’s first trip to Asia as president has been touted as a display of US determination to maintain its commercial and military edge across the region, and comes as rival China is experiencing significant economic disruption due to lockdowns intended to contain Covid outbreaks.

The United States’ “so-called ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy’ is, in essence, a strategy of creating division, inciting confrontation and undermining peace”, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, according to state media outlet Xinhua.

“No matter how it is packaged or disguised, it will inevitably fail in the end,” he said.

On Tuesday, Biden aims to reinforce American leadership in the region by joining the leaders of Australia, India and Japan for a summit of the Quad group.

Wang, however, said the United States was aiming “to form small cliques in the name of freedom and openness”, all the while hoping “to contain China”.

Washington and Beijing are at odds over China’s activity in the East and South China Sea, its claims on Taiwan and what the United States has termed serious rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region, among other issues.

“What is particularly dangerous is that the United States plays the ‘Taiwan card’ and ‘South China Sea card’ to bring chaos to the region,” Wang said, according to Xinhua.

Biden is emphasising a broader, almost existential, angle during his trip, saying that Asia is a key battleground in the global “competition between democracies and autocracies”.

However, much of the trip has been overshadowed by concern that North Korea will test a nuclear-capable missile or a bomb as a show of force while Biden is in the region. — AFP