SINGAPORE: The United States is the real driver of tension in the South China Sea and keeps hollowing out the one-China principle, said Lieutenant General Jing Jianfeng, deputy chief of staff of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, on Saturday.
Jing made the remarks in response to the repeated false accusations made by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin when briefing the media on the sidelines of the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore.
The U.S. has been constantly meddling in the South China Sea issue and taking the opportunity to suppress other countries in recent years, which completely runs counter to the will and efforts of countries in the region to seek peace, development and stability, Jing said.
U.S. ‘real driver of tension’ in South China Sea
The U.S. frequently dispatches advanced warships and planes to the South China Sea for provocation, implements “freedom of navigation,” increases temporary and rotational deployment and adds military bases, which will only bring more security risks and greater potential for crisis, Jing told reporters.
China has indisputable sovereignty over its South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters, Jing noted, adding that China’s sovereignty, rights and interests in the South China Sea have been formed over a long period of history and are in line with international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Jing said China refuses to accept and recognize the so-called award of the South China Sea arbitration which is illegal and void.
China advocates peaceful settlement of the South China Sea issue, he said, and China is always committed to resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation with countries directly concerned on the basis of respecting history, facts and international law.
“China sees security as common and mutual. Realizing one’s own security also means guaranteeing security of other countries,” Yan Zhanyu, an associate professor at the University of International Business and Economics in China, told CGTN.
“The two are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other,” he said, adding that China’s security resides in the world’s security.
U.S. keeps ‘hollowing out’ one-China principle
Regarding the Taiwan question, Jing said the U.S. keeps hollowing out the one-China principle and enhancing official exchanges with the Taiwan region, as well as connives “Taiwan independence” separatist activities.
“The U.S. increases the quantity and performance of weapons sold to the Taiwan region, frequently sails across the Taiwan Straits, and woos other countries to intervene in the Taiwan question,” he noted.
The military countermeasures China has taken around the Taiwan region are aimed at separatist activities seeking “Taiwan independence” and foreign interference, which are fully justified and beyond reproach, he said.
Jing highlighted three basic facts regarding the Taiwan question.
First, there is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.
Second, the one-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community and abides by the basic norms of international relations.
Third, it is the inviolable duty of all Chinese people, including compatriots in Taiwan, to accomplish the great task of reunifying the motherland.
“It is not China that is changing status quo,”Jing said, and the Taiwan question concerns China’s core interests without any compromise.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army stands ready at all times to resolutely safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Jing concluded.