Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
Bloomberg: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Saturday that the goal of the US and its key allies is to make sure that they have the capabilities and operational plans to offer credible deterrence to China or anybody else who would want to take on the United States. What is the foreign ministry’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. China’s development means better protection for world peace, as it represents opportunities for the world, not challenges. China has always firmly upheld the UN-centered international system and the international order we champion is the one based on international law, not the one defined by individual countries to maintain their hegemony. In the era of globalization, forming enclosed small cliques with ideology as the yardstick is the sure way to destroy the international order and after all, is unpopular and will end in total failure.
The United States should treat China and China-US relations in a right mentality and in an objective and rational manner, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and work with China to focus on cooperation, manage differences, and place China-US relations back on the track of healthy and stable development.
Reuters: The four countries of the Quad held their first summit on March 12. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the four leaders discussed the challenge posed by China and believed democracy could out-compete autocracy. Do you have any comment on that?
Zhao Lijian: For quite some time, certain countries have been so keen to exaggerate and hype up the so-called “China threat” to sow discord among regional countries, especially to disrupt their relations with China. However, their actions, running counter to the trend of the times of peace, development and cooperation and the common aspirations of the countries and peoples in the region, will not be welcomed or succeed. Exchanges and cooperation between countries should help expand mutual understanding and trust, instead of targeting or harming the interests of third parties. Certain countries should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice, refrain from forming closed and exclusive small circles, and do more things that are conducive to solidarity and cooperation among regional countries and regional peace and stability.