Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense (Photo/mod.gov.cn)
The United States must respect China's core interests and major concerns if it really wants to have positive and constructive dialogue with China, the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.
Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, made the remark at a news conference in response to comments by a US official on China's cancellation of Sino-US military communications following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August.
"What is right and wrong is not allowed to be confused," he said, stressing that the US is "fully aware of the causes and effects" of China's cancellation of the three bilateral military exchanges.
"China's cancellation is a necessary countermeasure against the US, which deliberately created a major crisis and seriously undermined China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Tan said.
The spokesman said that the US had recently grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and further undermined the foundation and atmosphere for communication and exchanges between the two militaries by issuing a series of negative China-related policy documents and bills, and hyping up superpower competition and the so-called "China threat" theory.
He underlined that China attaches great importance to developing Sino-US military ties and bilateral working-level communications between the two militaries have not been interrupted.
"But the US cannot seek to fully resume dialogue and exchanges with China while undermining China's interests and distorting the context by blaming China for canceling some military exchanges," said Tan.
"If the US really wants to conduct positive and constructive dialogue and exchanges with China, it must show sincerity and take action, respect China's core interests and major concerns, and actively create conditions and an atmosphere for bilateral military ties to get back on the right track."
In response to a Taiwan official's hyping up the military operations of the mainland, Tan made it clear at the monthly news briefing that the military actions of the People's Liberation Army are targeted at "Taiwan independence" separatist activities and foreign interference, in order to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Where there are acts of splitting China, there will be PLA military operations," said Tan, urging the island's Democratic Progressive Party authority to face up to history and reality, recognize the trend of reunification and the people's will, and reflect on its wrong words and deeds that seek "independence" by relying on foreign support and arms, and constantly provoke confrontation across the Taiwan Straits.
"It has always been the sacred duty of the PLA to safeguard national sovereignty and contain 'Taiwan independence' separatists," the spokesman said, noting that the PLA would resolutely smash any form of "Taiwan independence "separatist schemes and external interference, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The spokesman also refuted comments by James Dickinson, commander of the US Space Command, who claimed that China continues to build capabilities that put most US "assets at risk in the space domain".
"China firmly opposes such attempts to spread the 'China threat' theory in the space sector," said Tan, stressing that the US is essentially making excuses and shifting responsibility for "making space a weapon and a battlefield, and seeking hegemony in space".
He noted that China is committed to the peaceful use of space, firmly opposes weaponizing space and an arms race in space, and actively promotes international cooperation in space.
Tan pointed out that China announced that its space station would be open to all United Nations member states to build a "space home" for mankind, which he said stands in "sharp contrast" with certain countries that have set up a space command and a space air force and vigorously develop and deploy offensive space weapons.
"It's very clear who is maintaining peace and promoting cooperation, and who is stirring up competition and confrontation," he said, urging the US to stop stirring up the "China threat" theory, and actively participate in international space arms control.