January 10, 2024
BEIJING – The Foreign Ministry on Monday blasted certain non-regional countries for flexing muscles in the South China Sea and inciting confrontation, saying that such moves are not conducive to peace and stability in the region.
Mao Ning, a ministry spokeswoman, made the remarks after the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea issued a joint statement on Saturday, expressing concerns over China’s recent moves in the South China Sea.
“We firmly oppose relevant countries’ attempt to create exclusionary groupings in the name of cooperation, grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs, attack and smear China, and stoke confrontation and antagonism,” Mao said at a daily news conference.
The spokeswoman said that the current situation in the South China Sea is “generally stable”.
China is committed to safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, while properly managing differences with directly concerned countries through dialogue and consultation, she said.
In response to the trilateral statement on the Taiwan Strait, Mao emphasized that the key to keeping the Taiwan Strait peaceful and stable lies in upholding the one-China principle and firmly opposing separatist moves toward “Taiwan independence”.
“The Asia-Pacific is a pacesetter of cooperation, not a chessboard for geopolitical contests,” Mao said, urging relevant parties to earnestly respect regional countries’ efforts toward peace and stability, abandon the Cold War mentality, stop creating bloc-based confrontation and stop fueling tensions in the region.
Also on Monday, when commenting on the US stepping up controls over chip exports to China and strengthening curbs on China’s semiconductor companies, Mao said that it is “out-and-out economic bullying”.
The US uses national security as a pretext to restrict chip export to China, but the measures it has taken clearly go beyond the realm of national security and have gravely hindered the normal trade in ordinary chips for civilian use, she said, adding that the US’ moves show that it is going after the Chinese chip industry neither for national security reasons nor as part of legitimate competition.
This is unilateral bullying without principles or bottom lines that essentially denies emerging markets and developing countries the right to pursue a better life for their people, she said.
The selfish move undermines the stability of the global industrial and supply chains, poisons the atmosphere for international cooperation and fuels division, which will inevitably backfire, she added.