|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on August 4, 2022|
CCTV: On August 3, the G7 foreign ministers and the High Representative of the EU released a statement saying they are concerned by China’s “announced threatening actions” which “risk unnecessary escalation”, and alleging “There’s no justification” to use Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as pretext for aggressive military activity or coercion. They claimed its “normal” for legislators to travel internationally and “There is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of the G7 members”. Do you have any response to that?
Hua Chunying: Reading this statement is like being transported back in time. The foreign ministers of these countries clearly believe that they still live in the days of the Eight-Power Allied Forces over 120 years ago. We no longer live in a world where the imperialist powers could run roughshod over Chinese people on Chinese soil. Today’s China is not the old China humiliated and bullied over 100 years ago. It is time for these people to wake up from their imperial dream.
Let me stress the following points.
First, China has the right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The tensions in the Taiwan Strait is fundamentally caused by the US connivance at the third highest-ranking official of the US government to take a military aircraft to visit China’s Taiwan region in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations. This is a major incident that seeks to upgrade the substantive exchanges between the United States and Taiwan. It causes serious harm to the one-China principle and to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. China has repeatedly made clear its stern opposition to the incident and stressed its firm opposition to separatism aimed at “Taiwan independence” and foreign interference. China will allow no room for any form of “Taiwan independence” forces. If the US continues down the wrong path, then all consequences arising therefrom shall be borne by the US. And do not say that we have not told them so in advance. The US made a malicious provocation first, and China has been compelled to act in self-defense. In the event of such a blatant provocation that violates China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it is only legitimate and necessary that we are taking countermeasures in response, and these measures are sure to be strong and resolute. The world sees this very clearly. Over 100 countries spoke up soon after the visit took place, stressing the importance of upholding the one-China principle and expressing support for China’s efforts to uphold sovereignty and territorial integrity. If the G7 countries truly care about peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, they should have urged the US early on not to make such a dangerous, reckless and irresponsible provocation against China. Before Pelosi’s visit, those countries played dumb and did not say a word. Now, however, they suddenly became vocal and made irresponsible accusations against China’s justified response. This says everything about their hypocrisy and ugliness.
Second, the one-China principle is an important political foundation for establishing diplomatic ties between the G7 countries and China. We have consistently and firmly opposed any form of official exchanges between the Taiwan region and countries having diplomatic ties with China. The leaders of the legislatures of the G7 countries should abide by the foreign policies recognized and committed to by their governments. If a country’s legislature acts against the country’s foreign policy and the government does nothing about it, it will only prove the government’s political incompetence, poor governance and lack of credibility internationally. On this serious question, playing games with words or trying to redefine commitments means nothing and achieves nothing.
Third, there is only one version and one connotation of the one-China principle, i.e. there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. The government of the PRC is the sole legal government representing the entire China. This is written down clearly in Resolution 2758 adopted at the 26th Session of the UN General Assembly in 1971. It is the basic norm in international relations and the political foundation on which China established and has developed diplomatic relations with 181 countries, including the G7 countries. Nothing should be unilaterally inserted into the principle. And there should be no misinterpretation or distortion of the principle.
Fourth, either today or historically, members of the US-led G7 personify aggression and coercion. If anyone should be accused of aggression and coercion, the G7 countries deserve it more than anyone else.
The G7 must not forget that they are in no position to represent the global community. Their views only represent a tiny fraction of the world of nations. As Singaporean scholar Kishore Mahbubani wrote recently, “the G7 is dictatorial globally”. The latest statement is a case in point.
I need to remind the G7 foreign ministers again that we all live in the third decade of the 21st century now. There would be a problem if someone follows the mindset of over a century ago.
Bloomberg: China often complains that too many in the West subscribe to what it calls the “China threat” narrative. But what would you say to those that will cite the military drills today, these missiles and weapons, as evidence of the threat that is posed by China?
Hua Chunying: Your question is a typical example of how certain people think in the West. This is an issue about fundamental facts and principles because it involves China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China has made it clear many times that we are firmly opposed to Pelosi’s visit. And we made it clear that once the visit is made, it would be a serious violation of the one-China principle and grave infringement on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. China will definitely take strong and resolute measures in response and all consequences shall be borne by the US side. So do not say that we have not said in advance about the implications of this incident.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Chinese military drills in the waters off the Taiwan Island are a necessary and legitimate measure to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity and a necessary and legitimate countermeasure against the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and foreign interference. China’s competent authorities have issued safety alerts and travel warnings in advance. So what we have done is consistent with international law and international practices. Anyone who try to use that to prove China to be a so-called threat will only prove themselves to be rather dark inside, because they choose to view the incident selectively, ignoring the basic fact that things have ended up like this all because Pelosi went ahead with a wrong decision in disregard of China’s repeated serious representations and the repeated dissuasion from various parties.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said this morning on the sidelines of the ASEAN-plus foreign ministers’ meetings in Phnom Penh to outline China’s position on the US’s provocation in violation of China’s sovereignty.
State Councilor Wang Yi said that Pelosi’s stunt is another bankruptcy of US politics, diplomacy and credibility. It proves the US to be the biggest saboteur of peace in the Taiwan Strait and the biggest troublemaker to regional stability. It proves the US’s Indo-Pacific strategy to be highly confrontational and harmful. It also proves the hypocrisy and double standards of the US regarding international rules. If China does not firmly resist the US’s recklessness, irresponsibility and extreme irrationality, then the principle of respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity in international relations will just become words on paper and separatists and extremists will only become more reckless and the hard-won peace and stability in this region will be seriously undermined.
State Councilor Wang Yi also stressed that this incident is single-handedly orchestrated and provoked by the US and the cause, consequences and merits of the incident are crystal clear. China has done everything that is diplomatically possible to prevent this crisis which has been imposed on China. But we will not tolerate any act that harms our core interests and national rejuvenation. We will not sit by and watch the US play the “Taiwan card” to serve the US’s domestic politics and the selfish interests of some politicians. We will not tolerate moves to incite tensions, confrontation and separatism in this region. The host of measures China is taking and will take are necessary, timely countermeasures that are defensive in nature which have gone through serious consideration and careful assessment, and they’re aimed at protecting our nation’s sovereignty and security. They are consistent with international law and domestic laws. They are a warning to the provocateurs and also aimed at protecting regional stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait. All parties need to clearly recognize the cause and nature of the current crisis, jointly oppose the recklessness and the provocation of the US, continue to support China’s just position and measures and jointly protect regional and cross-Strait peace.
CGTN: Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on August 3 that the Congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan should be seen as a strong statement that America stands with Taiwan. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: We often hear US politicians say that they are standing together with so and so, but history and facts have repeatedly shown that whomever the US politicians claim they are standing together with would become the targets of chaos and disaster. Just look at Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan, and also look at the people responsible for what Pelosi called “a beautiful sight to behold” in Hong Kong and the “Hong Kong independence” separatists. See what has become of them?
Kyodo News: We just heard that the previously scheduled meeting between State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister today has been canceled. Can you confirm this? If so, is it China’s decision or is it caused by the Japanese side? If it’s the former, does it have anything to do with the G7 statement that you just responded to?
Hua Chunying: I’ll answer your three questions altogether. China has made it clear that it will no longer schedule a meeting between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers in Phnom Penh. Japan joined other members of G7 and the EU in issuing a joint statement which contains groundless accusations against China, confounds black and white and tries to justify the US’s infringement on China’s sovereignty. This has caused a public outcry among the Chinese people. We thus decided not to go ahead with the meeting between the two foreign ministers in Phnom Penh.
Japan is historically responsible for its wrongdoing on the Taiwan question. Japan is in no position to make unwarranted remarks on issues related to Taiwan.
RIA Novosti: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview with the South China Morning Post said that he would like to speak with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and discuss the Ukrainian conflict. Could you please confirm that there are some plans of organizing this conversation?
Hua Chunying: China maintains close communication with Ukraine and other parties of the Ukraine crisis.
Phoenix TV: The US Senate has passed a resolution approving the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. If the two countries do join the grouping someday, it will be NATO’s sixth expansion and the largest one since the 1990s. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: On European security, China hopes that all parties will follow the principle of indivisible security and, on the basis of respecting each other’s reasonable security concerns, follow the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture for peace and lasting security in the region through dialogue and negotiation. That is why we have put forward the Global Security Initiative. This reflects our consistent position on regional security issues.
About NATO’s role and function in world peace and security, there has been a lot of rethinking and reflection. NATO has its own narrative. But we all know that from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Kosovo, from Iraq to Afghanistan and Libya and so on, rough statistics show that ever since 2001, NATO has launched and participated in wars that have resulted in over 900,000 deaths, including 400,000 civilians, and the displacement of tens of millions of refugees. What role should NATO play in maintaining world peace and security in the 21st century? In what way should it play its role? What mindset and vision should NATO be guided by? These are all serious questions for relevant NATO countries to think about.
AFP: ASEAN foreign ministers expressed their concerns in a statement today against provocative action in the Taiwan Strait. They said the current situation could lead to miscalculation and serious confrontation. Is China concerned about such potential miscalculations or confrontations resulting from military exercises this week?
Hua Chunying: The root cause of the current tensions in the Taiwan Strait is the joint provocation of the US side and “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, which seriously violates the one China principle and infringes upon our sovereignty and territorial integrity. In the face of such flagrant provocation, we are compelled to take justified, necessary countermeasures to uphold our sovereignty and territorial integrity. All our measures are targeted against the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. Anyone who is concerned about regional tensions should be asking the US to immediately and credibly follow the one-China principle, stop violating China’s sovereignty and take real actions to uphold regional peace and stability. It is very clear here who is responsible for the incident and who is the provocateur. China is only being compelled to act in self-defense. I hope that you could see that fact.
I’m sure you know that in the statement, ASEAN says it is opposed to provocations. And Pelosi’s visit itself is a serious provocation. ASEAN countries hope to see peace and stability in this region and oppose any serious provocation like Pelosi’s visit. They are concerned that such reckless provocations could put regional peace and stability into a precarious situation.
As I said yesterday, many countries spoke up immediately in various ways to express opposition to the visit, a serious and dangerous provocation, and reiterated the commitment to the one-China principle.
The Spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General said that the UN is guided by the one-China policy. UN Secretary-General António Guterres then reiterated that the UN abides by the one-China policy and UNGA resolution 2758. The League of Arab States expressed support to China yesterday. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization just made a statement saying that the SCO adheres to the one-China principle, firmly opposes interference in the internal affairs of its member states by any external force, supports all member states in safeguarding national unity and defending their own sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will continue to promote further cooperation among member states in this regard to ensure peace, security and stability in the region. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said again that he did not see any reason to create such an irritant literally out of nowhere. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry reaffirms in a statement Pakistan’s strong commitment to the one-China principle and firm support for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Cuba’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning interference in China’s internal affairs, stating its firm rejection to the actions aimed at harming China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and emphasizing its concern over the increasing tensions as a direct result of the aggressive policy and high military presence of the US and its allies in the Taiwan Strait. Cuban Foreign Minister said on social media that Cuba rejects actions aimed at harming the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China, and condemns interference in its internal affairs. Iranian Foreign Minister said that his country’s support of one-China principle is indubitable. US provocative actions have turned into a source of threat to international peace and stability and the international community must stop it. Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is causing escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Myanmar opposes any provocative actions causing instabilities in the region and attempts that aim to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and Myanmar fully supports the one-China principle. Spokesperson of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said that Indonesia continues to respect the one-China policy. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan may escalate confrontation between China and the US. If not managed well, it may lead to open conflict and disrupt peace and stability, including in the Taiwan Strait. The Thai Foreign Ministry said that Thailand stands by the one-China principle and it is important to abide by principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. Spokesperson of Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry reiterated that the country adheres to the one-China policy. The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said that the country firmly supports the one-China principle, which is also supported by the UN and the African Union. The Sudanese Foreign Minister said in a statement that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and Sudan supports China’s efforts to uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Republic of the Congo’s Foreign Minister said that upholding the one-China principle is his country’s unwavering policy and the Republic of the Congo firmly supports China’s actions to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said it supports the one-China principle and opposes interference in China’s internal affairs. Chairperson of South African Parliament said that the US moves are a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, which will ruin the efforts over the years to uphold peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and inevitably endanger regional peace and stability. Greek Foreign Minister expressed support for the one-China policy when it comes to upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity during a meeting with State Councilor Wang Yi on the sidelines of the ASEAN ministerial meetings. Serbian Prime Minister said when meeting with the Chinese Ambassador that Serbia supports the one-China policy and considers Taiwan as an integral part of China. The Nicaraguan Vice President openly expressed support for China in its effort to uphold national sovereignty and condemned the imperialist intervention of the US. Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister, in a statement, strongly condemned Pelosi’s visit and said Nicaragua fully supports China’s position on the Taiwan question, supports China in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and urges the US side to immediately stop its contemptible provocation against China. The Venezuelan foreign ministry said that Pelosi’s visit is a direct provocation and serious threat to China’s independence and territorial integrity and Venezuela firmly supports the one-China principle and urges the US to respect China’s sovereignty.
General Secretary of People’s Vanguard Party (PVP) of Costa Rica said that the PVP firmly supports China in defending sovereignty and territorial integrity. In Brazil, President of the Communist Party and Secretary of International Relations issued a statement titled Taiwan: Imperialism Provokes China and Further Threatens World Peace to condemn Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The Communist Party of Argentina released a declaration condemning the US for violating UNGA resolution 2758 and its commitment in the Joint Communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US, and pointing out that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is a strong provocation and imperialist aggression, and calling on governments and people across the world to speak up against what the US has done.
In addition, press from Russia, Thailand, Cuba, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola have published commentaries to stress that Taiwan is a part of China and how Pelosi’s visit seriously violates the one-China principle, constitutes a serious provocation, seriously infringes on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Well-known British scholar Martin Jacques wrote in an article that Pelosi’s provocation over Taiwan leads the US and the world into an age of disorder and instability. The tension in the Taiwan Strait is caused by the US’s encroachment on the understanding it reached with China.
All this shows that the one-China principle is a universal consensus and what is a just cause can receive the support of many around the world. So I hope what I have shared with you will help you understand who is the provocateur and should be responsible for the tensions in the region.
China Daily: A US State Department official said that China should not use Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as a pretext to continue seeking to change the status quo with regard to Taiwan. And if any escalation or crisis were to somehow follow her visit, it would be on Beijing. Do you have any comment on these remarks?
Hua Chunying: This is the US’s typical way of confounding right and wrong and acting like a thief crying “stop thief”. It shows how domineering, arbitrary and unscrupulous the US always is. I would like the US to answer four questions.
First, what is the status quo on the Taiwan question? The facts are crystal clear, i.e. both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China and Taiwan is part of China’s territory. Despite being politically against each other for a long time, China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have never been split. This is the real status quo of the situation in the Taiwan Strait.
Second, who is creating the crisis in the Taiwan Strait? The collusion between the US and “Taiwan independence” forces and their provocation is the fundamental factor in causing the tension in the Taiwan Strait. In recent years, the DPP authorities have refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus which embodies the one-China principle, and tried to solicit US support for “Taiwan independence”. The US side has been distorting, obscuring and hollowing out the one-China principle to serve its strategic goal of disrupting and containing China’s development. The US has sought to play the “Taiwan card” to contain China. It has been upgrading its contact with Taiwan and increased arms sales to Taiwan. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in disregard of global backlash gravely upgrades the substantive exchanges between the US and Taiwan. It seriously violates the US government’s commitment to the Chinese government on the Taiwan question and the basic norm in international relations and gravely infringes on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Third, who should be responsible for the tensions in the Taiwan Strait? China has repeatedly told the US the grave nature and harm of the visit and made it clear that all consequences arising therefrom should be borne by the US side. So do not say that we have not told the US all this in advance. But the US government and Speaker Pelosi staged a double act and insisted on pursuing the wrong path. The US made the provocation first, and China has been compelled to act in self-defense. The Chinese government has the right to do whatever necessary and justified to resolutely uphold our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Fourth, who is changing the status quo in the Taiwan Strait? The US cited its wrongful action 25 years ago to justify the visit. But we have made it very clear that past mistakes do not serve as justification for repeating that mistake. China always learns from past experience. We will not allow the US to continue to use salami tactics to encroach upon, obscure and hollow out the one-China principle. We will not allow the US to use any pretext or excuse to gradually change the status quo.
Let me emphasize once again that at present any tension emerging in the Taiwan Strait is caused single-handedly by the US. Fundamentally, it is because Speaker Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan out of selfish interest and serious violated the one-China principle. We would not be dealing with this had Pelosi not made that provocative visit to Taiwan. Many countries and media outlets across the world also share a clear, objective and correct understanding of that and have warned the US in various ways. So if the US truly cares about peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, then the most important and crucial thing for it to do is make sure at once that it would strictly abide by the one-China principle and the three Sino-US Joint Communiqués in both words and deeds.
Hubei Media Group: According to reports, the Australian Space Agency has recently confirmed the space debris found in New South Wales belongs to a craft built by the US company SpaceX. Cassandra Steer, Deputy Director of the Australian National University’s Institute for Space, said the US side should be held accountable for the damage caused by the debris. Does China have any comment?
Hua Chunying: Space debris is a challenge to human’s sustainable exploration and use of outer space. China actively engages in space debris mitigation and international cooperation in this regard. We hope that the US and other countries in the world will take credible steps to minimize the safety risk caused by space debris and also shoulder the responsibilities in accordance with international law for the damage done by space activities.
Bloomberg: The ROK President did not meet with Nancy Pelosi when she was in the ROK, although they did speak I believe by telephone. Does the Chinese foreign ministry have a view on the decision not to meet with Pelosi?
Hua Chunying: We have noticed relevant reports and China will be following closely the developments of this visit.
Dragon TV: According to reports, the negotiations on resuming compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal will resume today in Vienna after a near five-month hiatus. How does China see the prospect of the talks?
Hua Chunying: China has always been firmly committed to upholding the JCPOA and we welcome the resumption of the talks in Vienna. This is a result of concerted efforts of all parties and is consistent with the expectation of the international community.
With the resumption of the talks, there is a new opportunity to seek a political and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. We hope that all parties can seize this opportunity, redouble diplomatic efforts and fully demonstrate goodwill and flexibility to seek a solution to the outstanding issues as soon as possible. The US is the country that created the Iranian nuclear crisis in the first place. It needs to fully rectify its mistake and respond actively to the reasonable concerns of Iran for the negotiations to produce early results.
China has been in close touch with all sides and played an active role in advancing the negotiations. We will be constructively involved in future negotiation as well to contribute to bringing the implementation of the JCPOA back on track. We will at the same time resolutely uphold our own lawful rights and interests.
Reuters: Has China’s deepening tensions with the US over Taiwan now extended to the rest of the G7 nations?
Hua Chunying: China always hopes to have friendly and cooperative relations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation with the G7 countries and all other countries in the world. I believe this is the shared aspiration of people in all countries and serves countries’ common interests. Meanwhile, on issues concerning sovereignty and territorial integrity, there is no room for China to compromise or concede. All countries having diplomatic relations with China must abide by the one-China principle.
And as for the impact of the tension emerging from the Taiwan question between China and the US on China’s relations with other G7 members, I think it’s up to those G7 nations -- what they think and do about this. If they decide to follow the US and admit that they do not have an independent foreign policy or if they do not care about the interests of their own countries and peoples and are willing to tie their own countries to the US and be the US’s sidekicks, then I very much doubt whether the people of their respective countries would say yes to that.
If they are truly independent nations, then they should make decisions based on the interests of their own countries and peoples and follow the one-China principle, because it is the most important political prerequisite and foundation for their diplomatic relations with China. Relevant countries should be able to understand that because any responsible government would act in the long-term and fundamental interest of their own countries and the aspiration of their peoples and make independent decisions that best serve their interests.
This statement will not win the G7 any dignity or respect. The G7 only represents a tiny minority. Even if every person in the G7 countries support this statement, they only account for less than 10% of the world’s population. They do not represent the international community. Not to mention the fact that 85% of Americans do not approve of US policies and believe things in the US are headed in the wrong direction. How many people can this G7 foreign ministers’ statement really represent? What significance can it possibly have?
Reuters: You just told us that China has canceled a meeting with the Japanese foreign minister because of this statement or following this statement. Does that mean that China does not want to hold any foreign minister meetings with any G7 member nations for the moment due to this statement? And when will that change?
Hua Chunying: I have been very clear that since Japan has joined the other G7 countries and the EU in issuing this statement, which makes groundless accusations against China, confounds right and wrong and tries to justify the US’s violation of China’s sovereignty. The Chinese people deplore this move. Japan is historically responsible for its wrongdoing on the Taiwan question and is in no position to make unwarranted remarks on Taiwan-related issues.
As for the other G7 countries, unless they change their wrong practice on the Taiwan question, we may have to reconsider the meaning of having meetings and dialogue with them, which are supposed to boost trust and cooperation.
Reuters: Does China believe that these drills are conducive with winning the hearts and minds of the people in Taiwan?
Hua Chunying: Did you ask the Taiwan authorities, when they insisted on inviting Speaker Pelosi to Taiwan, had they asked the Taiwan people about their hearts and wills? I know that after Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, quite many people in Taiwan actually protested to that. Do Taiwan authorities put the expectations, wills and the welfare and interests of the Taiwan people close to its heart?
As I have said, the measures we have taken are justified, necessary and resolute. The aim is to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity and send a message of warning to the provocateurs. These measures are directed at the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and interference of foreign forces.
Bloomberg: Just to clarify on the Japan issue. So on the G7, are you saying that it’s only Japan that has been singled out for this treatment or will that extend to other countries?
Hua Chunying: I think I have been clear enough. Japan, along with the other G7 countries, issued this so-called statement that accuses China, confounds black and white and does not distinguish right from wrong, not to mention that Japan is historically responsible for its wrongdoing on the Taiwan question. That’s why the Chinese people have been extremely unhappy about it. Under those circumstances, we no longer plan to schedule the meeting between the Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers in Phnom Penh.
In today’s world, global challenges like the COVID pandemic, the Ukraine crisis, and economic, energy and food issues, and regional hotspot issues all call for better cooperation between China and the G7 countries. However, if the G7 decides not to respect, and even hurt China’s core interests on issues concerning its sovereignty and territorial integrity, then there is no way that such wrongdoing would not impact the G7’s relations with China and cooperation on key issues.
Kyodo News: First, given the meeting in Phnom Penh will still be going on tomorrow, is there any possibility for a meeting between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers? Or what kind of atmosphere will it need for such a meeting to take place? Also you said yesterday, and I quote, “Since China and Japan have not yet carried out maritime delimitation in relevant waters, China does not accept the notion of so-called ‘Japanese EEZ’.” Could you elaborate a little bit more on that?
Hua Chunying: On your first question, the reason is quite clear as to why China will no longer schedule the two foreign ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh. To solve the problem, the most realistic way is for Japan to recognize its serious mistake and redress it through real action. Japan is historically responsible for its wrongdoing on the Taiwan question and is in no position to make unwarranted remarks, still less should it blindly follow the US’s steps and violate our sovereignty and territorial integrity. This would not be in the interest of the Japanese people, either.
As for your second question, China and Japan have not carried out maritime delimitation in relevant waters, so there is no such thing as China’s military actions being held in or entering Japan’s EEZ. Competent authorities in China have put out a notice. The military operations are fully in line with international law and international practices.
Bloomberg: So just now the Eastern Theatre Command announced that live fire training has been completed and that control of the airspace and sea in question has been lifted. So the question basically is, does that mean that the exercises are over? Are the exclusions lifted? Or will there be more going forward? Because originally it was through August 7th. Does that mean these exercises are over?
Hua Chunying: I recommend that you follow the updates from the Chinese military.
Reuters: You sort of suggested that if the G7 nations don’t respect China’s core interest on issues concerning China’s sovereignty, then this could affect relations. How might China’s relations with the seven countries be affected and for how long?
Hua Chunying: It would be very unwise for the G7 to say or do something improper on issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Such things could easily remind the Chinese people of the days more than 100 years ago, in which China was invaded by the Eight-Power Allied Forces, a painful memory shared by all Chinese people.
As I said just now, we no longer live in a world in which imperialist powers could ride roughshod over Chinese people on Chinese soil. Today’s China is no longer the old China bullied and abused more than 100 years ago. The countries that historically invaded China and launched wars against China should develop a greater sensitivity and consciousness when it comes to issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They should respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and not offend the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people on those issues.
It might be useful for the G7 countries to think about how the US managed to keep the country unified whatever the costs during the Civil War. The UK has the issue of Scotland, while Canada has the issue of Quebec. Some states are seeking independence from the US. So on issues concerning sovereignty and territorial integrity, I hope these countries are fully aware of their own stakes and act prudently.
As to how these countries’ wrongful actions on the Taiwan question could affect their relations with China, and how long would it take before relations could become normal again, that’s entirely up to them, what they would do, whether they could quickly recognize the mistakes and whether they could take real actions to correct their mistakes.
PTI: You took a question earlier on the status quo prevailing over Taiwan. There is a big report today in the Global Times, which says Pelosi’s visit changes the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. There is some kind of peace prevailing in the Taiwan Strait for a long time. So perhaps the status quo also means that. So the drills, the military exercises, is it going to be a new normal of what we’re going to witness in that region?
Hua Chunying: About the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, I have said in detail what exactly the status quo is. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. That is the real status quo of the Taiwan Strait. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have never been split. For some time, the US and "Taiwan independence" separatist forces have colluded with each other, substantively upgraded the exchanges between the US and Taiwan, intensified armed sales to Taiwan and violated the one-China principle and the commitments made to the Chinese government. In particular, Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan despite opposition from across the world is a grave provocation that substantively upgrades US-Taiwan exchanges.
We have issued warnings many times. It is based on the experience and lessons we have learned from the past that we know we cannot let the US use this type of salami tactics to keep pushing the envelope on China’s red lines. So in the face of such a provocation that seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we are left with no choice but to take resolute measures to demonstrate our resolve and capability to uphold our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
And will this become a new normal? It hinges on the action of the US side and the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces. Unless they stop trying to split China, China will never stop taking resolute actions to uphold our sovereignty and territorial integrity, not even for a day. And we will not stop demonstrating our resolve, will and capability.
AFP: Human Rights Watch said yesterday that it wants the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent expert body to investigate violations in Xinjiang. What’s China’s response to this request?
Hua Chunying: I think everyone knows what Human Rights Watch is up to. The so-called assessment on Xinjiang is nothing but a stunt orchestrated by the US and some other Western countries.
We have time and again used facts to refute the false narrative against China by anti-China forces. It is nothing but rumors and lies made up by the US side to contain China’s development and disrupt stability in China. They are indeed the lie of the century. We are firmly against fabricating false information to smear and attack China. Xinjiang is such a beautiful place where people from all ethnic backgrounds live a happy life today. I saw pictures online about tourists hitting the road in their own cars and pouring into Xinjiang this summer. There were even serious traffic jams on highways in Xinjiang with the best views. The rumors and disinformation about Xinjiang simply disappear in front of those facts. So for those who are trying to engage in political manipulation, smear China’s image and contain and suppress China using the Xinjiang-related issues, they will not succeed.
Reuters: Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang said the volume of cyberattacks on Taiwan government units on Tuesday was over 15,000 gigabits, 23 times higher than the previous daily record. What’s China’s comment? And is the Chinese government sponsoring these attacks?
Hua Chunying: I’m not aware of what you mentioned.
AFP: Seeing as Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is already over, what does China feel needs to be done either by Taiwan or the US in order to make amends for its move?
Hua Chunying: Pelosi’s stunt ended very fast, but the grave damage and negative impact will not disappear any time soon. I believe the US and the Taiwan authorities know very well that the only way forward is to strictly abide by the one-China principle both in words and in deeds, and do nothing that will harm China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Reuters: The Taiwan authorities is saying that there have been such a large number of cyber attacks on them in recent days, is that a matter of concern for China and what does China make of suggestions that it may have been behind these attacks?
Hua Chunying: This is not a foreign policy question.