|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on October 19, 2021|
Shenzhen TV: It is reported that in the joint press conference after talks, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the two countries are deeply concerned about Australia's development of nuclear submarines under the AUKUS trilateral security partnership. What is China's comment?
Wang Wenbin: I have noticed relevant reports. The statements of Malaysia and Indonesia have reflected the concerns widely shared among regional countries. The AUKUS trilateral security partnership and the nuclear submarine cooperation create nuclear proliferation risks, undermine the international non-proliferation system and undercut the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and ASEAN countries' efforts to build a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) in Southeast Asia. If forced through, they will create huge security risks like opening the Pandora's Box, which also means a regression in history.
The AUKUS trilateral security partnership embodies the Cold War mentality, double standards and contempt of rules with a clear political agenda. It aims to introduce major-power confrontation and bloc politics into the region, provoke bloc confrontation and force regional countries to take sides. It aims to undermine the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture with the outdated Cold War mentality and compromise regional prosperity and stability. It aims to build US-centered rules and order in the region to maintain US dominance and hegemonic system. It aims to challenge the international nuclear non-proliferation system, of which the NPT is the cornerstone, to serve US geopolitical self-interests.
It is China's belief that the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture is consistent with East Asian tradition and realistic needs. It effectively promotes peace and development in the region and should therefore be cherished and carried forward by all parties. Any erroneous practices that weaken and hollow ASEAN centrality, undermine the good momentum of regional cooperation and dialogue, and create division and stoke confrontation in the region will be guarded against and opposed by regional countries and the international community.
Bloomberg: In an interview, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK doesn't want to turn away Chinese investment, despite concerns of some of his own lawmakers. Previously the British government has said that Chinese firms are welcome to invest in non-strategic parts of the economy. Does the foreign ministry have a comment on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's view that the UK does not want to turn away China's investment?
Wang Wenbin: The UK is a staunch supporter and practitioner of free trade. China and the UK are important trade and investment partners of each other. It is in the interests of both sides to carry out practical cooperation based on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results. We hope that the UK will create an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.
Yonhap News Agency: On 19 October, DPRK fired what was suspected to be a short-range submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China noted relevant reports, and the recent military moves of relevant parties on the Peninsula issue. Currently, the situation on the Peninsula is at a critical juncture. Parties concerned should focus on the overall situation, exercise restraint, commit to safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula, adhere to the right direction of dialogue and negotiation, and follow the dual-track approach and the phased and synchronized principle, so as to jointly work for the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.
Beijing Daily: According the media report, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the other day that China's development of armament and advanced capabilities and systems will only increase tensions in the region. The US disarmament ambassador also stated that the active pursuit of the use and the militarization of hypersonic technology by China and Russia will intensify arms race. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China categorically opposes the incessant hyping-up of "China threat" by the US. China always works to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, uphold international order and provide public good. China unswervingly follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, and a self-defensive nuclear strategy, with nuclear forces always kept at the minimum level required to safeguard national security. China will never be engaged in nuclear arms race with any country. The sole aim of China's development of necessary military capabilities is to safeguard its legitimate security interests. China's growth strengthens the force for world peace. No country will be threatened by China's national defense capability as long as it does not intend to threaten or undermine China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.
The US not only owns the world's largest and most advanced nuclear stockpile, but also is investing trillions of dollars to upgrade its "nuclear triad". By hyping up "China threat", what the US is really up to is to search for excuses to build up its military capabilities and seek the advantage of absolute security.
As is known to all, the US withdrew from the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems and the