China warns against ‘provocative’ US-Taiwan relationship

US-Taiwan relations

A spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on Tuesday voiced China’s firm opposition to any form of official interactions or military collusion between the United States and China’s Taiwan region.

Spokesperson Zhu Fenglian made the remarks in response to the visit to Taiwan by a US lawmaker.

Noting some US lawmakers have repeatedly violated the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, Zhu warned it is extremely dangerous to support “Taiwan independence” secessionist activities.

Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party authority’s attempt to seek independence by relying on external anti-China forces is doomed to fail, she said.

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Tonga on Tuesday, stressing that his visit, as part of his tour to South Pacific island countries, aims at putting into practice the diplomatic vision that all countries, big or small, are equal.

Wang visited King Tupou VI at the Royal Palace, signed several bilateral agreements with Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni and also held talks with his Tongan counterpart Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu in Nuku’alofa, capital of Tonga.

The Chinese foreign minister is continuing his 10-day tour, following the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji.

Practical measures

During his meeting with King Tupou VI, Wang pointed out that his visit to Tonga aims at taking concrete measures to support Tonga’s post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

“We will prove with facts that this trip to the South Pacific region is a trip of friendship and cooperation,” Wang added.

Noting that as a developing country itself, China fully understands the legitimate needs and urgent aspirations of other developing countries, especially the small and medium-sized countries, Wang said China is ready to do its utmost to help other developing countries catch up with the trend of the times and speed up development and revitalization.

China expects a truly fair world and true equality among all countries, he said.

China will, as always, respect Tonga’s unique national conditions and governance model, support Tonga in safeguarding its independence, sovereignty and social stability, Wang said, wishing the Tongan people a happy life and better development.

When Tonga was faced with multiple challenges at the time, including volcanic eruption, tsunami, suspension of flights and the COVID-19 pandemic, China came to its assistance without hesitation, winning wide praise and heartfelt gratitude from the Tongan people, King Tupou VI said.

As facts have proven, he said, Chinese friendship has always been based on deeds rather than words.

Tonga firmly adheres to the one-China policy and will continue to use it as the cornerstone to promote the continuous development of relations between the two countries, he added.

King Tupou VI also said he was glad to see the success of the second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and thanked the Chinese delegation for overcoming the difficulties of the COVID-19 epidemic to visit South Pacific island countries.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) meets Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni, in Nuku’alofa, capital of Tonga, May 31, 2022. / Chinese Foreign Ministry

Mutual respect

When meeting with Sovaleni, Wang stressed that mutual respect is the principle of Chinese diplomacy, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs is the tradition of Chinese diplomacy, and mutual benefits and win-win cooperation are the goals of Chinese diplomacy.

Leaders of the region have recently said the Pacific island countries are all independent sovereign states, not anyone’s “backyard,” and have the right to decide their own affairs, Wang recalled.

China fully understands and supports this, and is willing to work with all parties in an open attitude to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with the island countries, he added.

The Chinese foreign minister called for jointly advocating multilateralism, opposing all unilateral bullying practices, and safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, especially small and medium-sized countries.

Tonga sincerely thanks China for its selfless help to the economic and social development of Tonga, especially for its swift emergency assistance after the volcano and tsunami disasters struck Tonga, as well as for its strong support to Tonga in fighting COVID-19, Sovaleni told Wang.

He added Tonga is firmly committed to enhancing friendship between the two sides, and looks forward to strengthening the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and deepening practical cooperation in various fields.

After the meeting, Wang and Sovaleni attended the signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation documents on disaster prevention and mitigation, agriculture and fisheries, and health.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) meets Tongan Foreign Minister Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, in Nuku’alofa, capital of Tonga, May 31, 2022. / Chinese Foreign Ministry

False information

As some have recently attacked and discredited China’s cooperation with South Pacific island nations, claiming that China will increase its military presence in the region, Wang on Tuesday responded that this is completely false.

China has no intention of competing with anyone, let alone being interested in geopolitical rivalry, Wang told Nuku’alofa, adding that China will never seek a “sphere of influence.”

Wang stressed that China and the South Pacific island countries are both developing countries with broad consensus, similar concerns and common missions. “We are good friends who understand each other and trust each other.”

A zero-sum game will only lead to multiple losses, which is not China’s diplomatic tradition, he pointed out, saying China advocates win-win cooperation, treats all countries equally, and is willing to establish and develop friendly relations with all countries.

China supports the democratization of international relations, multilateralism and the UN’s centrality, and opposes unilateral actions, colonial mentality and bullying small and medium-sized countries with arrogance, Wang stressed.

China has supported and is supporting Pacific island countries in developing their economies, improving people’s livelihoods and maintaining stability, Wang said, adding China is ready to set an example for all parties in helping Pacific island countries accelerate their development.

Tonga will always be an “island of friendship” for Chinese friends, ‘Utoikamanu told Wang.

She noted that Tonga adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and will continue to promote the bilateral strategic partnership and enhance cooperation in various fields as well as people-to-people exchanges.