BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Monday refuted a joint statement released by the Trilateral Indo-Pacific Dialogue between the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK).
Spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to a query on the joint statement, which was released on Jan. 6 by the U.S. State Department. It expressed the three countries' concerns over China's maritime claims in the South China Sea and "escalatory behavior," and said that the United States, Japan and the ROK "will continue their trilateral maritime security and law enforcement cooperation in accordance with international law."
The three countries also reaffirmed that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait are indispensable to security and prosperity in the international community.
"China has noted the U.S.-Japan-ROK dialogue and its resulting joint statement," Mao said, expressing serious concerns about the statement's rhetoric on China.
"We firmly oppose the attempt from these countries to cobble together exclusionary groupings in the name of cooperation, grossly interfere in China's internal affairs, attack and smear China and stoke confrontation and antagonism," the spokesperson said.
She said that the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable. China is committed to safeguarding its own territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and maritime interests, while managing differences properly with countries directly concerned through dialogue and consultation.
"Certain non-regional countries have sought to flex their muscles and incite confrontation in the South China Sea, which is not conducive to peace and stability in the region," she said.
"I want to stress that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, and the Taiwan question is entirely China's internal affairs and brooks no foreign interference," Mao said.
She said that the key to maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is upholding the one-China principle and firmly opposing separatist moves toward "Taiwan independence."
The Asia-Pacific region is a cooperation pacesetter, not a chessboard for geopolitical contests, she stressed.
"We urge relevant parties to earnestly respect regional countries' efforts toward peace and stability, abandon the Cold War mentality, stop creating bloc confrontation, and cease to fuel tensions in the region," Mao added. ■