China is alarmed by the Quad. But its threats are driving the group closer together

Hong Kong (CNN) When the United States , Japan , Australia and India first resuscitated their informal dialogue from a decade-long hiatus in late 2017, China was confident it would soon fail.

“It seems there is never a shortage of headline-grabbing ideas,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said dismissively of the grouping in early 2018, months after it convened its first working-level meeting in Manila.

“They are like the sea foam in the Pacific or Indian Ocean: they may get some attention, but soon will dissipate,” Wang concluded.