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In the face of disparaging remarks from Japan and the European Union, China expressed its firm stance against meddling in China's internal affairs.
At a summit on Thursday, Japan and the EU issued a joint statement expressing concern about the situation in the Diaoyu Islands, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, along with alleged human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
China's response came from Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian, who said the Japan-EU summit had defamed China while promoting regional confrontation by interfering in the country's internal affairs. "China is firmly opposed to such practice, and has lodged stern representation with relevant parties," Zhao said.
The Chinese spokesman said Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have always been inherently part of China's territory, noting that it is a fact not subject to change regardless of what is said or done. On maritime issues, Zhao said that while strongly safeguarding China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, the country is willing to work out differences with relevant countries through consultation.
Also, Zhao said, referring to the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues, that they are all part of China's internal affairs, not admitting interference from any outside force. "We urge the countries involved to focus on putting their own house in order," the foreign ministry spokesman said.
"The so-called China threat theory has gone bankrupt in face of facts," Zhao said. According to the official, China's economy has contributed 30 percent to global economic growth, and the country's achievements in the COVID-19 response have helped bring stability to the global supply chain. In addition, more than 180 countries and international organizations have benefited from the Belt and Road Initiative.
The spokesman urged Japan and the EU to give up the pursuit of ideological confrontation and a zero-sum game mentality to practice genuine multilateralism and bring more positive energy to the world. He said that unity and cooperation are more necessary than ever amid significant challenges such as the COVID-19 resurgence and lackluster economic recovery.