• Michael Laxer

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on the “rules-based international order”




Question and answer exchange from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on July 6, 2022


CCTV: US Secretary of State Blinken said recently at the NATO Public Forum that “the relationship that we all have with China is among the most complex and consequential of any relationship that we have with another country. And there are aspects of the relationship that are clearly competitive, and we need to make sure that that competition is fair”. “China is seeking to undermine the rules-based international order.” We are “not looking for conflict but trying to make sure that together we’re upholding the rules-based international order.” What is China’s comment?


Zhao Lijian: The remarks of Secretary of State Blinken is a misrepresentation of the facts and does not reflect the truth. His words smack of Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice. China is firmly opposed to this. I want to stress three points.


First, China has been a force for world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. China has never invaded any country, never launched any proxy war, and never participated in or put together any military bloc. We have no intention to compete with or confront any country. What we hope for is to get along with others peacefully, have win-win cooperation and build a community with a shared future for mankind. In order to mislead the public, the US has worked hand in glove with NATO to hype up competition with China and stoke group confrontation. The narratives and gambits that the US employs are not so clever. They are rather unpopular, and will not succeed.


Second, claiming that NATO is not “looking for conflict” is hypocritical and inconsistent with facts. The history of NATO is one of creating conflicts and waging wars. From Bosnia and Herzegovina to Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Ukraine, the self-claimed “defensive organization” has been making advances into new areas and domains, arbitrarily launching wars and killing innocent civilians. Even to this day, there is no sign of change. Facts have proven that it is not China that poses a systemic challenge to NATO, but NATO that brings a looming “systemic challenge” to world peace and security.


Third, the US’s so-called “rules-based international order” is actually a bunch of rules made by a handful of countries to serve the selfish interests of the US in seeking hegemony. While asking other countries to uphold the international order, the US has been obstructing negotiations for a verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention, and refusing to ratify multiple international conventions including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The US constantly places its domestic law above international law and observes international rules only as it sees fit. This is the biggest damage being done to the international order.


We want to make it clear that NATO must renounce its blind faith in military might and quit disrupting the Asia-Pacific. 


We urge the US to adopt a right perception of China and reject conflict and confrontation. It needs to act on President Biden’s five assurances, and choose the right path of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.

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