New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, with his Australian counterpart by his side, blamed the violence and standoff at the border in eastern Ladakh on China's failure to honour written agreements with India. "The situation at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh has arisen due to China's disregard in 2020 of written agreements with us to not mass forces at the border," Mr Jaishankar said on Saturday.

"So, when a large country disregards written commitments, I think it's an issue of legitimate concern for the entire international community," he added.

Speaking at a joint India-Australia press conference in Melbourne along with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, the minister said that the four foreign ministers of the Quad countries made a point that "we're here to do positive things, to contribute to peace, prosperity, stability of the region".

The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

The tension had escalated following a deadly clash in the Galwan Valley on June 15 that year.

On China's foreign minister criticising the Quad, Mr Jaishankar said that our actions and stance are very clear, and criticising it repeatedly "doesn't make us any less credible".

China has been critical of the Quad grouping ever since it came into being, accusing the US of using the other countries to "provoke" China in the Indo-Pacific region while the Quad partners maintain that the partnership is to provide peace and stability in the region.

Minister Payne has perhaps been the most vocal critic of China. In a TV interview on Wednesday, she said that "The approach of authoritarian regimes," naming Russia, China and North Korea, "are not contributing to security. They are not contributing to stability." She said China and Russia's "vision of the global order is completely at odds with the vision that Australia has and our allies and our partners have."

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, at a press conference on Wednesday, said that "democracy is a common value shared by humanity, rather than a patent owned by a few countries."

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is a partnership of four nations, the United States of America (USA), India, Australia and Japan, each of whom share a commitment to openness, transparency and challenges coming out of the current global order.

In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China's growing military presence in the strategic region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

Beijing is also involved in a maritime dispute with Japan over the East China Sea. Both areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital to global trade.