Embassy Spokesperson on China-related Content in the 2023 Integrated Review Refresh by the UK Government

Question: The British government released an updated Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy on 13 March. The review labeled China as an “epoch-defining challenge”, pointing fingers at China’s foreign policy and criticising China on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, the South China Sea, and the East China Sea. What is your comment?

Embassy Spokesperson: The relevant review issued by the UK portraits China as a so-called challenge, attacking China and smearing its image. China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to it.

For all countries, China is an epoch-defining opportunity, not a challenge. China is committed to the path of peaceful development, to an independent foreign policy of peace, and to developing friendly and cooperative relations with other countries on the basis of the principles of mutual respect, equality, and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. China is always a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender for the international order.

Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. Realising China’s complete reunification is the firm will of all Chinese people and confirms to the trend of the times. Solving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese people, and no foreign country has the right to interfere. We will continue to make our greatest efforts with utmost sincerity to achieve peaceful reunification. At the same time, we reserve the option to take all necessary measures. No one should ever underestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese government and people to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

As for issues related to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet, I would like to reiterate that these are China’s internal affairs, and we firmly oppose any country’s interference in any form and under any pretext.

On issues related to the South China Sea and the East China Sea, China is unwavering in its determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. In the meantime, we are willing to continue to properly address differences with relevant countries through consultation and negotiation. Any attempt by external forces to intervene in the situation of the East China Sea and South China Sea under any pretext will only cause unnecessary disruptions to peace and tranquility of the region, and will not serve the interests of regional countries.

I must remind the UK side that only by developing a correct perception of China and upholding mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation can China-UK relations move forward in a healthy and steady manner. We urge the UK side to view China with the right mindset, abandon ideological prejudice and the Cold War mentality, stop political manipulation in its relations with China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and take concrete actions to maintain the healthy and steady development of bilateral relations.

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