China's position on Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region
Updated 05:24, 06-Aug-2022
North America;United States of America

The Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. on Friday held a briefing about China’s position on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Speaker Pelosi’s visit to China’s Taiwan region.

Jing Quan, minister of the Chinese Embassy in the United States explains why Pelosi’s layover was so provocative at the briefing. Here is the full text of the opening statement:

I believe that you have read the latest statements or remarks from China's Foreign Ministry, the National People's Congress, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee and the Ministry of National Defense on this visit. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also made some remarks on this. We have made serious representations to the U.S. side both in Beijing and Washington, D.C.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced countermeasures, including canceling talks and meetings between the two militaries and suspending cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, legal assistance in criminal matters, against transnational crimes, counter-narcotics and talk on climate change. We also decide to adopt sanctions on Speaker Pelosi and her immediate family members. The People's Liberation Army has conducted drills in the waters and airspace around the Taiwan Island to deter against the collusion between the U.S. and Taiwan.

I would like to stress three points.

First, it is the US that has seriously violated its political commitment to China. In 1979, the United States made a clear commitment in the China-U.S. Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations — “The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.” 43 years have passed since, and the U.S. has long been committed to not developing official relations with Taiwan.

Congress, as part of the U.S. Government, is obliged to strictly observe the one-China policy of the U.S. Government and refrain from having any official exchanges with China's Taiwan region. When the Speaker, as the third-highest ranking figure in the U.S. government, flies on U.S. military aircraft and makes a provocative visit to the Taiwan region, it is by no means an unofficial action. It gravely upgrades the substantive exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan. 

The visit, as her office described it in her arrival statement, is the first ‘official' visit to Taiwan by a Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in 25 years. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, as well as the U.S. commitment of "not developing official relations with Taiwan". It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

U.S. President Biden has said many times that the United States will not change its one-China policy and does not support “Taiwan independence.” Speaker Pelosi was given full-protocol treatment by Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party authorities, who make no secret of pursuing independence in their party platform. To the “Taiwan independence” forces, the visit represents an exceptionally strong signal that “the US is on Taiwan's side” , thus will lead them further down a dangerous path, with peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait hanging in the balance. This visit seriously violates the U.S.’s repeated commitment of "not supporting Taiwan independence".

The one-China principle is part of the postwar international order, and has become a general international consensus. 181 countries, including the United States, have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. We hope the United States will strictly abide by the one-China principle.

Second, it is the U.S. that is provoking China and creating tension. The cause, consequences and merits of the incident are crystal clear. Since the media reported Speaker Pelosi's planned visit to Taiwan in April, China has repeatedly made clear to the U.S. the sensitivity and harmfulness of the visit. China clearly pointed out that this may trigger a crisis and seriously damage China-U.S. relations, and all consequences shall be borne by the US side. But the speaker continues down the wrong path, pushing the envelope on China's red lines. We have repeatedly told the U.S. side that China will definitely take all necessary and strong countermeasures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty and security. The U.S. side has clearly and unmistakably received China's messages. Speaker Pelosi knows where China's red lines are, but she still chose to deliberately provoke and challenge China's position. This is very dangerous and irresponsible.

The host of measures China is taking and will take are legitimate, necessary and timely countermeasures that are defensive in nature. They have been introduced after serious consideration and careful assessment, and they're aimed at protecting China’s sovereignty and security. They are consistent with international law and domestic laws. They are a warning to the provocateurs and also aimed at protecting regional stability and peace in the Taiwan strait. Some said that China is overreacting and is taking Speaker Pelosi's visit as pretext to create a crisis and escalate tensions. This is completely wrong. They are confounding black with white and shifting blame. The U.S. and Taiwan have made provocations together first, whereas China has been compelled to act in self-defense. You can't just be provocative and not allow others to defend themselves. There is no such thing in the world, not to mention China has repeatedly warned the U.S. before. The responsibility for the current situation does not lie with China at all.

Third, with both Covid-19 and the Ukraine conflict growing into protracted crises, it is high time for China and the United States to strengthen cooperation and work with other countries to find solutions. We should work together but not provoke the other side. Instead, some politicians choose to damage China's core interests, either to seek the limelight or to cement their political legacy. Their actions will only erode China-U.S. relations and put our peoples and militaries in dangerous situation. Taiwan is one of the very few issues that might take China and the United States to conflict. Extra caution and a sense of responsibility are indispensable when it comes to Taiwan.  

The right way for China and the U.S. to get along is to follow the spirit of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, avoidance of confrontation and win-win cooperation. But it requires joint efforts of the two sides.

Yesterday, Ambassador Qin Gang sternly rejected the condemnation of the U.S. side on Chinese military countermeasures when meeting with the officials of the White House National Security Council, Department of State and Department of Defense, and pointed out that it is the U.S. that is the troublemaker for peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and the region. 

Ambassador Qin Gang stressed that the only way out of the crisis is that the U.S. side must take measures immediately to rectify its mistakes and eliminate the grave impact of Pelosi’s visit. It should not take escalating actions, and make further mistakes. This is to avoid pushing China-U.S. relations down the dangerous track of conflict and confrontation.

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