State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe answers a question from a reporter on Sunday at the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. (LI XIAOWEI/FOR CHINA DAILY)
In his speech at the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe made China's position on the regional order crystal clear.
The world is at a crossroad, but the choice should not be difficult to make since it is between peace and development or conflict and confrontation. Countries should uphold inclusiveness not exclusiveness, win-win cooperation not zero-sum games and mutual learning between civilizations rather than prejudice.
Over the past 70 years, China has always pursued a military strategy of active defense. China has never bullied, pillaged or invaded anyone. And, of course, it will not allow anyone to bully, pillage or invade it.
In the historical process of achieving common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, the core interests and security concerns of all countries must be respected and safeguarded.
The Taiwan question concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States fought its Civil War to prevent the country being split into two. The US is indivisible, and so is China.
Any underestimation of the Chinese military's resolve and ability to fulfill its mission is extremely dangerous. China is striving for the peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and utmost efforts, but it will never renounce the use of force.
As for the so-called South China Sea issue, more than 100,000 ships pass through the South China Sea every year, and none has ever faced any threat. It is clear who is threatening regional stability by flexing its muscles in the waters under the pretext of exercising "freedom of navigation".
China does not covet other countries' interests or envy their development, but it will never give up its own legitimate rights and interests. No country should expect the nation to swallow any bitter fruit undermining its sovereignty, security and development interests.
To view China as a threat or adversary is a historical and strategic mistake.
"We do not provoke troubles, but we will not flinch in the face of provocation. We do not bully others, but we will not allow others to bully us," Wei said.
No one and no country should try to impose its will on others, or bully others under the guise of multilateralism. Stable relationships and peaceful coexistence among all countries serve the common interests of all.