Envoy hits back as U.S. 'slings mud' at China after Pelosi's Taiwan trip
It's not China but the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and the United States who are changing the status quo of the Taiwan Straits, and Beijing's countermeasures against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island are justifiably strong, not overreacting as a "pretext" for a "new normal".
The remarks were made by Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang when he met a group of U.S. media representatives in Washington on Tuesday, two weeks after Pelosi's provocative trip to Taiwan despite strong opposition from China.
While the visit has seriously violated the one-China principle and the commitments made by the U.S., some in the U.S. do not recognize and correct their mistakes but choose to "confound black with white and reverse the narrative, slinging mud at China", Qin said.
For example, White House Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Aug 12 that China used the visit as a "pretext" to launch an intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan and to try to change the status quo.
Others claim that China is escalating the situation, and China is overreacting, using Pelosi's visit as a pretext to establish a "new normal".
"But a basic fact is, the U.S. side took the first step to provoke China on the Taiwan question. This has openly infringed on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Qin said.
Beijing had made the utmost efforts to prevent this crisis from being imposed on China, including expressing "firm" opposition at various levels and through various channels, and warning that if Pelosi made the visit, there would be very serious consequences and a firm and forceful response, according to Qin.
"To our regret, the United States chose not to listen," the envoy said.
China responded to Pelosi's visit with a series of countermeasures and days of military exercises in the seas and airspace around Taiwan.
"It's natural, legitimate and lawful for China to defend its territorial integrity and resist division of its territory," Qin said.
"We don't need any excuse for that! The U.S. should not feel surprised about this. If we needed an excuse, why had we worked so hard to prevent it from happening in the first place?" he added.
As to the U.S. side's claim that China's pursuit of reunification is a "threat" to Taiwan, and that the Chinese mainland is changing the "status quo", Qin noted that a basic fact is, Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory, and the Taiwan question is China's internal affair.
"The 'status quo' of the Taiwan question is, there is only one China in the world. Both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China," he said. "The fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China has never changed. Taiwan has never been a country."
Qin told reporters that it has been laid out in China's constitution and other laws that Taiwan is part of China.
The Cairo declaration of 1943 and the Potsdam Proclamation of 1945 made it clear that Taiwan should be returned to China.
The ambassador also cited United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, which was adopted in 1971.
That resolution settled once and for all the political, legal and procedural issues of China's representation in the UN, and it covered the whole country, including Taiwan.
"Then who is changing the 'status quo'? Not China, but 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces and the U.S. themselves," Qin said.
The U.S. side has said it remains "committed to our one-China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiqués, and the Six Assurances".
Qin noted that the U.S. keeps "distorting, fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle", and the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances are "unilateral stuff" put into the one-China policy, moves that China has firmly objected to from the very beginning.
In addition, Washington has stepped up official interaction with Taiwan, sold arms to Taiwan many times and even claimed "militarily defending" of Taiwan.
"These acts have been emboldening 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces," he said. "The oath of allegiance of the U.S. reads, 'one Nation under God, indivisible'. Then could China be divided? Would the 1.4 billion Chinese people accept that?"
He urged the U.S. side to "earnestly" abide by the one-China principle and the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués and not underestimate the "strong resolve, determination and capability" of the Chinese government and people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"I hope the U.S. would stop pointing fingers at China, stop its words and actions that escalate the tension, stop using Taiwan to contain China, and not allow 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces to go further down the dangerous path," he said.
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