|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on April 15, 2022|
Reuters: Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham said today in his meeting with Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen that the US will start to make China pay “a greater price for what they are doing all over the world”, including what he described as never-ending cyber attacks on the Taiwanese people and its economy. What is Chinese response to these remarks?
Zhao Lijian: I stated China’s solemn position on US lawmakers’ visit to Taiwan yesterday. China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region. Members of the US Congress should act in consistence with the US government’s one-China policy. The US side should abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, stop official exchanges with Taiwan and avoid making irresponsible remarks. The Chinese side will continue to take strong measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. I believe you have all noticed the statement released by the PLA Eastern Theater Command. The relevant moves by the Chinese army are a countermeasure to the US negative actions recently, including the lawmakers’ visit to Taiwan.
TASS: First question. Alexander Sergeev, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the other day the Chinese Academy of Sciences put their cooperation with their Russian counterpart “on hold”. Can you confirm this? How do you comment on the people-to-people exchanges between China and Russia on these areas? My second question is about Taiwan. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said yesterday that “if China were to invade Taiwan”, the US government policy is that “we’re going to take every step we possibly can to ensure that never happens”. Do such remarks amount to interference in China’s internal affairs? US Senator Graham and others visited China’s Taiwan region on April 14. Does the visit violate the one-China principle? Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: On your first question, to our knowledge, China and Russia are continuing cooperation and exchange activities in science and technology as scheduled. Guided by the vision of everlasting friendship and win-win cooperation, the two sides will advance relevant cooperation in a practical manner.
Cooperation in science and technology, as an important part of China-Russia practical cooperation, has been gaining momentum in recent years. The China-Russia Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation was successfully held from 2020 to 2021, during which over 1,000 innovative cooperation and exchange activities were held, delivering fruitful results. This has opened new ground for future cooperation and testified to the immense potential and broad prospects of bilateral scientific and technological cooperation.
On your second question, there is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The current situation across the Taiwan Strait faces a new round of tension. The root cause is that the Taiwan authorities have repeatedly tried to seek “Taiwan independence” by soliciting US support, while some in the US intend to contain China with the Taiwan question. The US and Taiwan have colluded with each other, and certain individual deliberately draws parallel between Taiwan and Ukraine despite they are two fundamentally different issues. Their aim is to mislead the public and profit from that. It is such move of playing with fire that would change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.
The Taiwan question is a legacy of the Chinese civil war. China must and will be reunified. We will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts. That being said, we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures in response to the interference of foreign forces and the secessionist activities of a handful of “Taiwan independence” separatists.
The so-called “Taiwan Relations Act” unilaterally concocted by the US side runs counter to the principles of the three China-US joint communiqués and basic norms governing international relations. China has been firmly opposed to it since the very beginning. The US has no right to put its domestic law above international law, still less use it as a pretext to meddle in China’s internal affairs. On the Taiwan question, the US should abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, not the so-called “Taiwan Relations Act”.
The US should abide by the one-China principle and stipulations in the three China-US joint communiqués, cut off official interactions and military ties with Taiwan, stop arms sales to Taiwan and take concrete actions to fulfill its commitment of not supporting “Taiwan independence”.
As for the visit to Taiwan by the US Senate delegation, I answered this question earlier. This is obviously in violation of the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués.
Al Jazeera: From yesterday to today, Israel has been arresting and attacking Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the West Bank, five Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces, the youngest being just 14 years old. What is China’s comment on Israel’s aggression and slaughter? Like last year, Israel has chosen Muslims’ most sacred month of Ramadan to launch these provocative attacks on Palestinians. Will China play a role befitting its international stature?
Zhao Lijian: Recently China has been following with concern the escalating tension between Palestine and Israel, which has caused civilian casualties. We hope relevant parties will remain cool-headed and exercise restraint to prevent the situation from escalating further or even spiraling out of control.
China has been playing a constructive role in resolving the Palestine question. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward a three-point proposal for the implementation of the two-state solution last year. Going forward, we will continue to work relentlessly toward resolving the Palestine question and realizing the two-state solution together with the international community.
The Paper: It is reported that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently published an op-ed on an American newspaper, in which he mentioned Ukraine and Taiwan in the same breath and said the time has come for the US to make clear that it will defend Taiwan. Does China have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: Certain Japanese politician repeatedly makes wild talks on the Taiwan question and irresponsible remarks about China’s internal affairs, in a vicious attempt to instigate confrontation between major countries. China firmly rejects this.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and the Taiwan question is entirely China’s internal affair. The Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue are different in nature and are not comparable at all. During its colonial rule over Taiwan for half a century, Japan committed innumerable crimes, over which it bears grave historical responsibilities to the Chinese people. The Japanese politician should speak and act with extra prudence on the Taiwan question and avoid sending any wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces.
Macau Monthly: CIA Director William Burns delivered a speech on April 14, in which he called China a “formidable competitor lacking in neither ambition nor capability”, and that China is “intent” on replacing the US as “the preeminent power in the Indo-Pacific.” What is China’s comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: The US has been constantly disseminating disinformation about the Ukraine crisis, flagrantly smearing China and driving a wedge between China and Russia with the agenda to profit from the repercussions of its blameshifting and confrontation incited among others. The US should focus more on its responsibility for the outbreak and escalation of the Ukraine crisis. I want to stress that China pursues development in order to bring better lives to the people, without any interests in challenging, still less replacing others. For too long, the US has been whipping up the “China threat theory” and throwing dirty water at China. But lies remain lies, no matter how many times they are repeated. The world can make fair judgement about China’s contribution to world peace and development. Certain US politicians should discard the Cold War mentality, view China’s development in an objective light, stop making things up, stop sowing discord between China and other countries that China has normal relations with, and do more things that are conducive to the development of China-US relations.
Today is the seventh National Security Education Day. The National Security Law of the People’s Republic of China, which came into force in July 2015, confirmed the guiding role of the overall national security outlook in the form of law and designated April 15 each year as National Security Education Day, where various kinds of activities for public security awareness are held. The overall national security outlook provides the fundamental guideline for the work on national security. It has become a consensus that the whole of society must have stronger awareness of the worst-case scenario and be alert to dangers in times of calm, advance development and security in a coordinated way and stay committed to scientific coordination, all of which is integral to the national security concept.
The current world is defined by interdependence between countries and economic globalization. No countries can pursue development behind closed doors, or seek security without contact with the outside world. General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the overall national security outlook, called for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and emphasized that one’s own security must go hand in hand with common security. This endeavor reflects the sense of responsibility of a major country and expresses the sincere aspiration of the Chinese people. For years, China has embraced a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable global security, which represents the shared expectation of peace-loving people across the world. China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. We will uphold true multilateralism, actively implement the vision for global security, and work with all countries to build a world featuring lasting peace and universal security.