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China: U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral meetings' remarks are vilification


U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue summit, Singapore, May 31, 2024. /CFP
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue summit, Singapore, May 31, 2024. /CFP

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue summit, Singapore, May 31, 2024. /CFP

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Monday refuted negative remarks by the U.S., Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), saying the three countries deliberately attacked and vilified China through their trilateral meetings.

The defense ministers of three countries convened for a trilateral meeting in Singapore on Sunday. They issued a joint press statement, in which they criticized China on matters concerning Taiwan, the South China Sea and other issues. Similar remarks on China were also made at a vice foreign ministers dialogue in Washington on Friday.

Mao Ning, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said that the three countries are promoting the "Indo-Pacific Strategy" through trilateral meetings, and they grossly interfere in China's internal affairs on the Taiwan question, deliberately attack and defame China on maritime issues, and sow discord between China and neighboring countries.

"Such moves seriously violate basic norms governing international relations. China strongly deplores and opposes this," Mao said.

The spokesperson said China firmly opposes bloc politics and exclusive groupings in the Asia-Pacific. The U.S. needs to act on its word of not seeking to strengthen alliances to target China, and stop seeking selfish gains at the expense of other countries' security and the well-being of the people in the Asia-Pacific, Mao added.

She stressed that the one-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations, and that the Taiwan question is China's internal affair that brooks no external interference.

"The biggest threat to cross-Straits peace now is the separatist activities of 'Taiwan independence' forces and external connivance and support for them," Mao said, adding, "If relevant countries truly care about cross-Straits peace and stability and want the world to be safe and prosperous, they should uphold the one-China principle, unequivocally oppose 'Taiwan independence' separatist activities and support China's reunification."

Mao said that China will always defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and that China is committed to properly settling bilateral maritime issues through dialogue and consultation. "We firmly oppose countries outside the region meddling with and escalating the situation."

The spokesperson criticized the U.S. for inciting and supporting certain countries in provoking China and infringing on China's sovereignty and maritime rights at sea.

"The U.S. frequently conducted joint military exercises and close-in reconnaissance with its allies in waters close to China, including the South China Sea, to flex muscles and intensify regional tensions. This has become the biggest threat and challenge to regional peace and stability," Mao noted.

On the Korean Peninsula issue, Mao said advancing the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue serves the common interests of all parties, while resorting to military deterrence and imposing sanctions and pressure will only intensify differences and heighten tensions.

"We urge relevant parties to be prudent in words and deeds and refrain from fueling the tension in the Korean Peninsula, which is already highly complex and challenging," Mao said, adding China will continue to handle Korean Peninsula affairs based on their merits and China's own position.

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