Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
Xinhua News Agency: The U.S. government reportedly declassified 30 years earlier than normal an Indo-Pacific strategy, which contains elements including defending Taiwan, accelerating India’s rise as a counterbalance to China and maintain U.S. dominance in the region. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: Some U.S. politicians want to leave behind a “legacy” by declassifying the document, but its content only serves to expose the malign intention of the United States to use its Indo-Pacific strategy to suppress and contain China and undermine regional peace and stability. In essence, this is a strategy of hegemony. I can point out at least three major mistakes in it.
First, it highlights the Cold War mentality and military confrontation, which goes against the mutually-beneficial spirit of regional cooperation, runs counter to regional people’s aspiration for peace, stability and development, and threatens regional prospects of peace and development. As such, it should rightly be thrown into the dustbin of history. The U.S. side is obsessed with ganging up, forming small cliques and resorting to despicable means such as wedge-driving, which fully exposed its true face as a trouble-maker undermining regional peace, stability, solidarity and cooperation. We believe countries in the region are clear-headed and vigilant enough not to be hijacked onto the U.S. chariot or be used as a tool to maintain U.S. hegemony.
Second, it is a serious breach of the U.S. government’s solemn commitment on Taiwan to China. There is but one China in the world, and the Taiwan region is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. China has the determination, confidence and capability to foil any foreign interference and “Taiwan independence” separatist plots. We will resolutely defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. All U.S. attempts to contain China with Taiwan are futile. We urge the United States to fully recognize the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, strictly observe the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related matters, not to send wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and not to go further down the dangerous and wrong path to avoid seriously undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and China-U.S. relations.
Third, it maliciously distorts China’s neighborhood diplomacy and hypes up the so-called “China threat”. However, lies will always be lies and justice will prevail. China is committed to the path of peaceful development and a defense policy that is defensive in nature. We are a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and guardian of international order. As a responsible member of the Asia-Pacific, China actively practices a neighborhood diplomacy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, making important contributions to regional peace, stability and prosperity. Regional countries all bear witness to this.
I must point out that the Asia-Pacific is a region where Chinese and American interests are most tightly entwined and interact most frequently. We hope the U.S. side will discard the Cold War zero sum mentality, earnestly respect China’s core interests and major concerns, strengthen communication and dialogue with China, properly manage differences and help make the Asia-Pacific a stage for mutually-beneficial cooperation instead of an arena for major power rivalry.