China on Friday expressed firm opposition to recent smearing remarks and interference in China's internal affairs by Japan and the European Union (EU), urging them to abandon the zero-sum game mindset.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to a query about a joint statement issued by Japan and the EU at a summit on Thursday, which expressed "concerns" over the situation of the Diaoyu Islands, East China Sea, South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, as well as so-called human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Japan and the EU have hyped up China-related issues, made smearing remarks against China, interfered in China's internal affairs and instigated regional confrontation, Zhao said. "China is firmly opposed to such practice, and has lodged stern representation with relevant parties."
Zhao said the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have always been an inherent part of the Chinese territory, adding no matter what is said or done, the fact can never be altered that the islands belong to China.
Regarding maritime issues, Zhao said China will firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and at the same time is ready to settle differences with relevant countries via consultations.
As for issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, Zhao said they all fall within China's internal affairs, which brook no interference by any external forces. "We urge relevant countries to focus on putting their own house in order."
China's development means important opportunities for the world, Zhao said, citing facts that China's economy has contributed 30 percent to the world economic growth, and China's achievements in COVID-19 response have helped stabilize the global supply chain. The Belt and Road Initiative has benefited more than 180 countries and international organizations.
"The so-called China threat theory has gone bankrupt in face of facts," Zhao said.
Noting the world needs unity and cooperation more than ever before in face of challenges such as the resurgences of COVID-19 and lackluster economic recovery, Zhao urged Japan and the EU to abandon seeking ideological confrontation and a zero-sum game mindset, to practice real multilateralism and inject more positive energy into the world.