Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference on November 14, 2018
Q: We have noted that US Vice President Mike Pence, when holding a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday, said that the US hopes that all nations in the Indo-Pacific are free to follow their own path and pursue their own interests and that authoritarianism and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific. What is your comment?
A: China always maintains that all countries should follow the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression and mutual non-interference in domestic affairs. All countries have the right to independently pursue the development path that suits their own national conditions. All of these are the important contents of the Five Principles of the Peaceful Coexistence.
We have noted that Mr. Pence made the public statement that he hopes all countries in the Asia-Pacific region are free to follow their own path. This is very good. We hope that the US side can translate their words into actions and that not only in the Asia-Pacific region but also in all other places around the world, the US can respect and support the efforts made by all countries to pursue the path of their own choice with no inference, intimidation, threats, aggression or double standards.
(N.B. The second part of the response, featured in italics above, not carried in the version in Chinese on the MOFA website)