AFP: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called yesterday for vigorous competition with China to preserve the existing global order. He said that Beijing posed the most serious long-term challenge to the international order. I wonder if you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: This speech of Secretary Blinken is a voluminous one. He went to great length to spread disinformation, play up the so-called “China threat”, interfere in China’s internal affairs and smear China’s domestic and foreign policy. The sole purpose is to contain and suppress China’s development and maintain the US hegemony. China deplores and rejects this. I’d like to stress the following:
First, humanity is now living in a new era of connectivity, where all countries share a common future and their interests are closely intertwined. The pursuit of peace, development and win-win results is an unstoppable trend of the times. In the face of changes unseen in a century, we must stick together and promote solidarity and cooperation if we want to uphold world peace and stability, meet the challenge of COVID-19 and revitalize the global economy. The US sensationalization of the so-called “China threat” cannot solve its own problems, and will only lead the world to a dangerous abyss.
Second, the US side is completely confusing right and wrong when calling China “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order”. China was, is and will remain a guardian of the international order. We uphold the UN-centered international system, the international order based on international law and the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. People with discerning eyes can easily see that the so-called “rules-based international order” is nothing but a set of “house rules” established by the US and a handful of other countries to maintain the so-called “order” led by the US. The US always puts its domestic law above international law, and cherry-pick international rules as it sees fit in a pragmatic way. This is the biggest source of instability in the international order.
Third, peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the common values of humanity. Democracy and human rights have historical, specific and practical contexts. Countries can only explore suitable paths in light of national realities and people’s needs. There is no one-size-fits-all model. No country has the right to monopolize the definition of democracy and human rights, to lecture others on those issues, or to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs under pretext of human rights. The US is running a deficit in democracy and human rights with its deplorable track record. Is it in a position to posture as a guardian of democracy and human rights and criticize other countries on these issues?
Fourth, China advocates the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and holds that the future of the world should be decided by all countries together. Countries should build partnerships featuring equal treatment, mutual consultation and mutual understanding. Major countries should take the lead in charting a new course of international engagement of dialogue and partnership rather than confrontation and alliance. Creating “small cliques” is reversing the course of history. Forging “small blocs” is against the trend of history. The US creates the so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy” to rope in regional countries to contain China, and claims to “shape the strategic environment around Beijing”. This move to gang up on China will get no support and is doomed to fail.
Fifth, China’s diplomacy champions and practices the five principles of peaceful coexistence, stays committed to establishing and developing friendly and cooperative relations with all countries, calls on equal treatment of all countries regardless of their size, and opposes imposing one’s own will on others. The label of “coercive diplomacy” can by no means be pinned on China. The US is the inventor of and the synonym to “coercive diplomacy”. Those being coerced by the US could be big or small, close or distant, and friend or foe. The US obsession with bullying has made the international community suffer deeply. It is long overdue that the US work on its old habit.
Sixth, issues relating to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs. Resolving the Taiwan question and achieving complete national reunification is the shared aspiration and firm will of all the Chinese people. There is no room for any compromise. The US said that it does not support “Taiwan independence”, but it is doing quite the opposite. The US has been violating the political commitment it made to China time and again, trying to hollow out the one-China principle and embolden the “Taiwan independence” forces. It is such moves that attempt to change the status quo and constitute severe threats to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The Xinjiang-related issues are essentially about fighting terrorism, extremism and separatism. The accusations of “genocide” and “forced labor” have long been proven lies of the century. The US is risking its own credibility by insisting on spreading those lies. Hong Kong is part of China. When implementing the policy of “people of Hong Kong administering Hong Kong”, we follow China’s Constitution and the Basic Law of Hong Kong, not Sino-British Joint Declaration. We urge the US to abide by basic norms governing international relations, stop using the above-mentioned issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs, and stop spreading lies and disinformation. We solemnly warn the US side not to underestimate the strong resolution, will and capability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Seventh, when talking about competition with China, the US is actually overstretching the concept of national security to impose illegal unilateral sanctions, exercise long-arm jurisdiction and seek decoupling and industrial chain breakage, which have gravely undermined the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and deprived China of its right to development. This is by no means “responsible competition”, but rather unscrupulous suppression and containment. The key for the China-US relationship to walk out of the predicament is for the US side to abandon its mania for zero-sum games, give up its obsession with encircling and containing China and stop undermining China-US relations.
The China-US relationship is now at an important crossroads. Should we pursue antagonism and confrontation or dialogue and cooperation? Should we seek mutual benefit and win-win cooperation or zero-sum game? The US side should make the right choices bearing in mind the common interests of people in both countries and the world. It needs to act on President Biden’s remarks that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China; it does not aim to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; the US does not support “Taiwan independence”; and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. We have noted that Secretary Blinken said in his speech that the US is not looking for conflict or a new Cold War with China; it doesn’t seek to block China from its role as a major power, nor to stop China from growing its economy; and it wants to coexist peacefully with China. We are watching what the US will do.