Written Interview with H.E. Chen Mingjian, Ambassador of China to Tanzania, on Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan

H.E. Chen Mingjian, Ambassador of China to Tanzania.

Question 1: On August 2, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced visit to China’s Taiwan region. In response, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly worded statement, using the word “serious” four times, to express China’s firm opposition and stern condemnation. Why Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan drew such a sharp reaction from China?  
Amb. Chen: Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to China’s Taiwan region is a gross interference in China’s internal affairs. It seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, rides roughshod over the one-China principle, and gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes this visit.
The one-China principle is a consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations. Its key elements include the following: There is but one China in the world; Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory; and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Around the world, 181 countries, including the United States, have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. The one-China principle is also the centerpiece of the three China-US joint communiqués, and the political foundation of the relationship between China and the US. The Taiwan question has always been the most important and the most sensitive issue in China-US relations. The visit of Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan as the incumbent Speaker of the US House of Representatives is a serious violation of the one-China policy committed by the US Government and a major political provocation upgrading the official interactions and substantive relations between the US and China’s Taiwan region. In the face of such a provocation, it is impossible for China to sit idly by.

Question 2: We noticed that the Chinese side had repeatedly warned the US side about Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, stressing for several times the serious consequences of such a visit. But Pelosi had ignored China’s warnings and insisted on visiting Taiwan. What’s the purpose of this visit?
Amb. Chen: In recent years, the US said that it will adhere to the one-China policy, it does not seek a new Cold War with China and does not aim to change China’s system. It also said that the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China, it does not support “Taiwan independence”, and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. However, the US has not matched its words with deeds. It has been distorting and hollowing out the one-China principle with salami tactics, and attempting to change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. Currently, the cross-Strait situation faces a new round of tension, and the root cause lies in the fact that the Taiwan authorities have kept seeking US support for their independence agenda, while at the same time the US attempts to “use Taiwan to contain China”, with the purpose of obstructing China’s complete reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
It is an open secret that the purpose of Pelosi’s insistence on visiting Taiwan in disregard of the overall interests of China-US relations is to make personal political gains and leave behind so-called political legacy. We can safely say that her visit is a “political show” which risks universal condemnation.

Question 3: What impact will the US provocation on the Taiwan question have on the China-US relationship? Today’s world is already eventful. What influence will this move of the US side have on the international situation?
Amb. Chen: Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan is a flagrant violation of the one-China principle. It seriously undermine the political foundation of China-US relations and it will only further worsen China-US relations and subject the two peoples to peril.
In the world today, the trends of turbulence and transformation are evolving, and deficits in development and security are looming large. The Covid-19 pandemic is still raging across the globe, and there is no quick solution to the Ukraine crisis. The spillover effect of the Ukraine crisis is still expanding. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has made the tense situation across the Taiwan Strait more complicated, dangerous and unpredictable, and worsened the turbulent international situation.
As the largest developing country and the largest developed country in the world, China and the US have special responsibility in upholding world peace and promoting development. The two countries should prioritize the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the world peace, stability, development and prosperity. They should take an attitude that is responsible to history and well manage their bilateral relations. This is not only the expectation of the international community and the people of all countries, but the responsibility of China and the US as two major countries.

Question 4: After Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the Chinese side has take a series of countermeasures in response. The US and some other Western countries have accused China of overacting, using Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and destabilizing the region. Do you have any comment on these accusations?
Amb. Chen: Such accusations are in total defiance of the facts, attempting to confuse right with wrong. China firmly objects to them. There is but one China in the world, and both sides across the Taiwan Strait belong to the same nation. This is the status quo across the Taiwan Strait since ancient times. Now the status quo has indeed been broken, but the culprit is the US and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces that the US condones and supports.
Facing the US malicious provocation, China has every right to take all necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The military exercises and training activities conducted around the Taiwan island are open, transparent and professional. They are consistent with domestic and international laws, as well as international practices. They are aimed at sending a warning to the perpetrator and punishing the “Taiwan independence” forces. If relevant people got annoyed with these measures, it proves that these measures are necessary and appropriate.

Question 5: How did the international community respond to this incident? What stance have African countries adopted in general?
Amb. Chen: Pelosi’s provocative visit to China’s Taiwan region is a violation of the basic norms of international relations. It is a threat to the world peace and stability. Any country and people who love peace and uphold justice don’t want to see this happening. Up to now, more than 170 countries, which account for nearly 90% of all countries in the world, have voiced staunch support for China on the Taiwan question through various means. These are the voices of justice.
The governments and various sectors of society in African countries have spoken up to echo China’s position and concerns, including Congo, Eritrea, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia and many others. They reiterated their firm support for the one-China principle and for China’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Tanzania and China are all-weather partners. The two countries always support each other on issues concerning either side’s core interests. Hon. Amb. Liberata Mulamula, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, on behalf of the Tanzanian Government, has expressed Tanzania’s support for China when we met recently. She stressed that Tanzania will firmly stand with China. The official Twitter account of the Tanzanian Foreign Ministry has released Minister Mulamula’s view, which says that Tanzania remains committed to the principles and consensus that guide our relations with China and will always support China’s core interests, including the One China Policy which recognizes Taiwan as an inalienable part of China. This statement shows once again that Tanzania is a country that upholds principles and justice, which we highly appreciate. China is ready to work with Tanzania and all other friendly countries to safeguard the international order based on international law, uphold international fairness and justice, and make greater contributions to the world peace and development as well as human progress.