Remarks by Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy on China-related Comments in the U.S.-Japan Joint Leaders' Statement

Q: The U.S. and Japan issued a joint leaders’ statement on April 16, noting their plan for a free and open Indo-Pacific and their exchange of views on the impact of China’s actions on peace and prosperity in this region. They also expressed concerns over the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. What is your comment?

A: Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang belong to China’s internal affairs. The East China Sea and the South China Sea concern China’s territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests. These matters bear on China’s fundamental interests and allow no interference. We express strong concern and firm opposition to relevant comments in the Joint Leaders’ Statement. China will firmly safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests.

These comments have gone far beyond the scope of normal development of bilateral relations. They are harmful to the interests of a third party, to mutual understanding and trust between regional countries, and to peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific. It cannot be more ironic that such attempt of stoking division and building blocs against other countries is put under the banner of “free and open”. The scheme of the U.S. and Japan goes against the trend of the times and the will of people in the region. Though it is designed to undermine others, it will only end up hurting themselves.

Q: The Japanese government has decided to discharge Fukushima radioactive wastewater into the ocean, and the United States has shown its support. What is your comment?

A: The United States and Japan claim that they are prepared to address regional challenges, but the most pressing challenge to the safety and security of this region is Japan’s unilateral decision to discharge Fukushima radioactive wastewater into the ocean. The decision is extremely irresponsible and will gravely damage the immediate interests of regional countries and peoples. It is also inappropriate for the U.S. to acquiesce. Do the U.S. and Japan want to forge a nuclear contaminated Indo-Pacific? If they still have regard to protecting the oceans shared by all mankind, if they are still mindful of the health and safety of future generations of regional countries, the U.S. and Japan included, they should exercise caution as to the treatment of radioactive wastewater.

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