Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday that China is open to cooperation with the U.S. but is also prepared for and unafraid of a confrontation with the U.S.
During remarks about China’s diplomatic posture towards the world, Wang said, “China’s attitude is consistent and clear-cut: dialogue may be conducted, but it should be based on equality; cooperation is welcome, but it should be for mutual benefit,” adding, “Competition may exist, but it should be healthy in nature; confrontation, which China does not fear, will be met in kind.”
Wang said Chinese leader Xi Jinping had “outlined a strategic framework of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation for China-U.S. relations” but warned the U.S. “should drop its old habit of wanton interference in China’s internal affairs.”
“Some Americans, deep in their hearts, are reluctant to recognize other countries’ right to development, to accept China’s growing strength and progress, and to acknowledge that the two countries may work together for mutual benefit,” Wang said. “They even attempted to gang up with other countries to contain and suppress China. Such wrong words and acts have undermined the interests of the two peoples.”
Later in his remarks, Wang said, “A certain non-regional power has unveiled an Indo-Pacific strategy to stoke confrontation and create rival blocs in the region, thus causing the greatest impediment to regional peace and stability.”
China has frequently accused the U.S. of undermining regional stability with freedom of navigation operations throughout the Indo-Pacific. The U.S. freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) have particularly challenged disputed Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, and asserted navigational freedoms in the international waters in the Taiwan Strait.
Wang went on to criticize “provocations” relating to Taiwan. Wang attributed tensions around Taiwan to “the attempt by the Taiwan authorities to seek American support for independence and the intention of the United States and a very few other countries to use the Taiwan question to contain China.”
While Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, China considers the island a part of its territory. The U.S. has operated an ambiguous relationship toward China and Taiwan. Through the so-called One China Principal, the U.S. holds that Taiwan is a part of China. At the same time, the U.S. has for decades provided defensive armaments to Taiwan, through the Taiwan Relations Act.
In his Monday remarks, Wang said China has taken “forceful countermeasures” to deter “the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence.'” Wang went on to say, “Taiwan is a long lost son who will eventually return home.”
Wang also said Taiwan “should not be used as a pawn to serve others’ agenda.”