China refutes negative actions, statements by US, Japan, Philippines
Published: Apr 13, 2024 12:34 AM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning Photo:

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense on Friday refuted the negative statements at the US-Japan-Philippines summit and wrongful remarks made by relevant parties.

China emphasized that the real challenge facing regional peace and stability is the formation of cliques by the US and Japan. China will continue to firmly defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, and will never allow the Philippine side to act willfully.

Leaders of the US, Japan and the Philippines held their first trilateral summit in Washington on Thursday. They issued a joint statement afterwards, which baselessly blamed China on the East and South China Sea issue, and made unfounded remarks on the Taiwan question.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said during a regular press conference on Friday that China strongly opposes the practice of bloc politics by relevant countries, and any acts that stoke and drive up tensions and harm other countries' strategic security and interests.

"We are seriously against forming exclusive groupings in this region. Japan and the Philippines have every right to develop normal relations with other countries, but they should not introduce bloc confrontation into this region, still less engage in trilateral cooperation at the expense of other countries' interests," she said.

Regarding the Taiwan question, the spokesperson said that it is purely an internal affair for China, and the biggest threat to peace across the Taiwan Straits at present is the separatist activities of "Taiwan independence" forces and external connivance and support for them. If relevant countries truly care about the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits, they should adhere to the one-China principle and unequivocally oppose the separatist activities. "No one should underestimate the will and capability of the Chinese people to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity," Mao noted.

Mao emphasized again that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands, as well as Nanhai Zhudao. China's activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea are lawful, justified and beyond reproach. China will never accept unfounded accusations and malicious smears from relevant countries, and will never accept or recognize so-called South China Sea arbitration or any unilateral actions based on that ruling.

Mao said the current situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea is generally stable, but some countries are constantly engaging in provocative actions at sea by wooing countries outside the region, leading to a rise in tensions.

China is firmly committed to defending its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and will continue to resolve bilateral maritime issues with directly involved parties through dialogue and consultation. At the same time, China firmly opposes non-regional countries meddling and sowing discords to escalate the situation, Mao said.

In response to US President Joe Biden saying that the US will respond to any "attack" on the Philippines by China, Mao said that Biden's remarks deviate from the basic facts, maliciously attacking and accusing China, which China strongly opposes.

"We are certainly opposed to relevant countries infringing on China's sovereignty, security and development interests under the pretext of freedom of navigation and overflight," Mao said. The US clings to a Cold War mentality, threatening other countries with its bilateral alliance treaties, seriously violating the UN Charter and undermining regional stability, the spokesperson added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also refuted the remarks made by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in his speech to the US Congress, during which he called China "the biggest challenge" to the world. Mao noted that China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition, and has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side.

Mao added that China has always adhered to the path of peaceful development, never initiated a war, and does not pose a threat to any country.

Mao further stated that the real challenge facing regional peace and stability is the US and Japan forming cliques and inciting group confrontation. Japan's militarist past, marked by devastating wars of aggression and brutal crimes against humanity, brought untold suffering on this region and beyond. Japan should seriously reflect on its history of aggression, respect the security concerns of its Asian neighbors, stop hyping up so-called security threats in the region to find pretext for making breakthroughs in its military strength, so as not to further lose the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community, Mao said.

On Friday, Liu Jinsong, director-general of the department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, met with the Chief Minister of the Embassy of Japan in China Yokochi Akira to express solemn representations regarding Japan's recent negative actions toward China during the US-Japan leaders' meeting in Washington and the US-Japan-Philippines summit, conveying serious concerns and strong dissatisfaction.

Liu also met with the Philippine Ambassador to China Jaime FlorCruz on Friday to express solemn representations regarding the negative remarks and actions toward China by the Philippines during the trilateral summit.

According to media reports, during the summit of the leaders of the US, Japan and the Philippines, the US side stated that any attack on Philippine aircraft, vessels or armed forces would invoke the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

In response, Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, said on Friday that China upholds that defense cooperation between countries should not target any specific country or undermine regional peace and stability. China's relevant activities in the South China Sea are justified, lawful and beyond reproach.

However, a certain non-regional country frequently sends military vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to flex muscles, gathers its allies to build up "small cliques" against China, and even threatens and coerces China with a so-called mutual defense treaty. These acts are irresponsible and extremely dangerous, Wu said.

Recently, the Philippine side induced external forces to interfere in the South China Sea issue and intruded into relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao. It also activated its propaganda machine against China and played the victim. The Chinese side is strongly opposed to this, Wu said.

"The settlement of the South China Sea issue should be based on reason, not size. China never bullies other countries. At the same time, we will never allow the Philippine side to act willfully. You can count on the Chinese military to keep our word on safeguarding national sovereignty and security," Wu noted.

Global Times