There is a Conflict Between China and United States
If there is a conflict between China and the United States, who do you want Japan to move closer to? Response from the Chinese Ambassador to Japan
Ambassador Kong Xuanyou accepts an exclusive interview with Fuji TV’s live news program
On October 16, Kong Xuanyou, the ambassador to Japan, accepted an exclusive interview with Japan’s Fuji TV’s “Prime News” live program, giving a comprehensive introduction to China-Japan relations and expounding China’s position on China-US relations, China’s military development, and the Diaoyu Islands.
The interview record is as follows:
Moderator: You have been working with Japan for more than 30 years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In your opinion, what changes have taken place in Japan-China relations during this period?
Ambassador Kong: For more than 30 years, I have experienced and witnessed different periods of Sino-Japanese relations. I have been resident in Japan four times in the 1980s, 1990s, early 21st century and last year. In the past 30 years, great changes have taken place in both China and Japan and the world. In the midst of drastic changes, although China-Japan relations have gone through various trials and hardships, they have achieved considerable development in general. I am very honored to be able to do my part in this regard.
Moderator: There have been very tense moments in Japan-China relations. In your opinion, where is the current Japan-China relationship in the history of the relationship between the two countries? Do you think it is a better period?
Ambassador Kong: China-Japan relations have returned
to the right track and are in a critical period of improvement and development. The two sides should work together to promote the continuous improvement of bilateral relations and continuously achieve new developments.
Moderator: You published a signed article entitled “Several Perspectives on China-related Issues” on the website of the embassy on September 29, which talked about China-US relations, China’s military development, and China-Japan cooperation in the post-epidemic era And China’s expectations for the new Japanese regime.
The Chinese ambassador to Japan speaks out on China-US relations on the website of the embassy
This seems to be unusual. What thoughts and sense of crisis did you have when you wrote this article?
Ambassador Kong: There is no special consideration for publishing this article. For China, Sino-US relations are one of the most important bilateral relations. Including Japan, the entire region and the world pay close attention to the direction of Sino-US relations.
There have been many discussions on Sino-US and Sino-Japanese relations in Japan recently. What is worrying is that there have been some political and emotional tendencies in the process.
This is something we don’t want to see, and it’s not conducive to quasi-confirmation. Know and grasp the problem. During this special period, as the ambassador to Japan, I think it is necessary to introduce to the Japanese people China’s views on Sino-US and Sino-Japanese relations by publishing an article, hoping to play a positive role in enhancing mutual trust and dissolving doubts.
Japan’s perception of China
Moderator: I agree that there is a political and emotional tendency in Japan’s perception of China. However, the article chose to start with Sino-US relations and pointed out that there are problems with the US policy toward China. Does this mean that China believes that the US policy toward China has largely affected Japan’s perception of China?
Ambassador Kong: In the era of globalization and information technology, it is inevitable that any issue will be affected by the outside world. Regarding Sino-U.S. relations, the reports and opinions of the US media have been accepted in China so far.
At the same time, China also has its own proposition and voice. I think it is necessary to introduce China’s position so that the Japanese government and the people can view and fully grasp Sino-US relations. This is the main purpose of my article.
What do you think of the current US suppression of China?
Ambassador Kong: Today, Sino-US relations have gone through more than 40 years of development. In 1972, the two sides fully recognized the differences in their development stages, social systems, historical and cultural traditions, and recognized that China and the United States are different countries.
They still proceeded from their respective national interests and from maintaining world peace and stability.
The pace of reconciliation. For more than 40 years, although Sino-US relations have gone through ups and downs and left many complicated issues, the two sides are able to face up to their differences and are willing to minimize their impact on Sino-US relations through dialogue and promote the continuous development of Sino-US relations.
This has not only made China and the United States, but also benefited the region and the world. It should be noted that the differences between China and the United States will continue to exist for a long time in the future.
Both sides should return to the original intention and origin of Sino-US relations, rethink how China and the United States should respect each other and treat each other as equals, and promote China through constructive dialogue and cooperation.
The United States builds a more stable relationship.
Moderator: Why do you think the United States wants to suppress China? There is a view that once the GDP of other countries reaches the 60% red line of the United States, the United States will attack them.
In the past, Japan was completely suppressed by the United States. In recent years, China’s economy has developed rapidly, rapidly exceeding 60% of the US’s GDP, and is likely to surpass the US in the next ten to twenty years.
Therefore, the United States believes that now is the last chance to suppress China. Is this the reason why the United States suppressed China?
Ambassador Kong: First, can the US continue to face up to the differences and differences between China and the United States.
The second is that over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China has continued to grow and expand, and its economy has grown substantially.
Do you see China today as a partner or as a competitor or even a security threat? There have been some changes in the perception of China in the United States. I think this is an important reason why the United States suppresses China.
Moderator: If China’s economy overtakes the United States in the next ten to twenty years, is China ready to lead the world and maintain the stability of international order?
Ambassador Kong: As China continues to grow and develop, how to better assume and fulfill its international responsibilities is a problem that China must face.
China must not only achieve its own development
but also share development opportunities with other countries, especially developing countries.
As long as we can, we will make efforts to this end. Not only do we say that, but we also do so in actual policies. At the same time, in the face of global issues such as climate change, environmental protection, terrorism, and the new crown epidemic, no country can deal with it alone and take care of itself.
As an important member of the international community, China is willing to work hand in hand with the international community, including the United States, to jointly respond and shoulder its due responsibilities as a major country.
Moderator: As the ambassador to Japan,
you published an article on the website of the embassy. The purpose should be to speak out to Japanese society. If the Sino-US antagonism intensifies, what do you expect from Japan? Do you hope that Japan will play a mediating role between China and the US?
Ambassador Kong: Japan is an important neighbor of China and an important ally of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. As one of the important stakeholders in Sino-US relations, Japan should play a role in building stable relations between major powers.
With stable relations between major powers, China and the United States can coexist peacefully and achieve common development. In this sense, I would like to make some introductions and explanations on Sino-US relations, especially issues of concern to the Japanese people.
Moderator: In my opinion, if the two major powers of China and the United States are in conflict, I am afraid Japan can only watch.
What role do you want Japan to play in Sino-US relations? Is it neutral or close to China?
Ambassador Kong: The various problems in Sino-US relations will ultimately be resolved through dialogue between China and the United States. Japan is an important country in the region. It is necessary for us to introduce the current situation of Sino-US relations to the Japanese people, clarify the nature and problems of Sino-US relations, so that the Japanese people can not only hear the views of the United States, but also understand China’s position, and then have a better understanding of Sino-US relations. Comprehensive and objective cognition.
Host: Through today’s program, it is estimated that more people will see your article. What do you think is the nature of Sino-US relations?
Ambassador Kong: It’s how China and the US coexist peacefully. The relationship between China and the United States is very complex, and it has and will still face many twists and turns.
At the same time, as important countries in the world, how China and the United States get along determines the future direction of the world to a certain extent, and will have an important impact on global stability and development.
In this context, what China values most is that no matter how the times change, China and the United States should be committed to peaceful coexistence, based on the principle of mutual respect, properly
manage contradictions and differences through constructive dialogue, and strive to build a stable relationship between major powers.
Build a coordinated, cooperative, and stable Sino-US relationship based on the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation.
Moderator: Is the stable relationship between major powers the so-called G2
That is, China and the United States determine their respective spheres of influence and achieve global governance?
Ambassador Kong: G2 is not mentioned by China, and we do not agree with it. China has always adhered to multilateralism and believes that important global issues should be resolved through consultations by all countries in the world, and world peace and stability need to be maintained and consolidated through multilateral consensus. At the same time, the free trade system is an important support for global economic development and prosperity, and it should continue to be adhered to. Any unilateralist approach that emphasizes the priority of one’s own country goes against the trend of the times and does not conform to the common interests of the international community.
Moderator: Multilateralism and the free trade system involve more economic aspects. From a political perspective, if China hopes to build stable relations between major powers, will Communist China accept American liberalism?
Ambassador Kong: The world is diverse, and diversity is an important source of vitality for the advancement of human society. Like people, countries have different personalities, structures and values.
The United States and China have different political systems
and this difference will exist for a long time. China’s political system and development path are the common choice of 1.4 billion Chinese people.
No matter what difficulties and challenges we face, we will unswervingly stick to them. Whether it is China or the United States or other countries, we have no need or possibility to change each other. On the basis of respecting the plural world, we should think more about how to coexist peacefully and achieve common development through mutual learning.
Moderator: In your article, you specifically talked about whether China will expand abroad when it becomes strong. Does this mean that China realizes that its actions in the South China Sea and the Diaoyu Islands are worrying neighboring countries such as Japan and ASEAN?
Ambassador Kong: We have noticed similar voices. Frankly speaking, this is a complete misunderstanding. Expansion has never been a policy option for China. After more than 40 years of reform and opening up, China has made considerable progress and is stronger than before. At the same time, China is still a developing country.
The biggest task of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government is to enable 1.4 billion Chinese people to live a better life. This is where our policy focuses. This year is the closing year of China’s poverty alleviation.
China will eliminate absolute poverty below the UN poverty line.
At the same time, problems such as relative poverty and the gap between the rich and the poor still exist in China, and China’s economic development is also facing difficulties such as structural reforms.
For a long time to come, the focus of the Chinese government’s work will remain on domestic economic construction. China’s development is inseparable from a peaceful and stable regional and international environment.
China is willing to develop peaceful and stable bilateral relations with neighboring countries. This is also the policy goal of our neighboring diplomacy. We will continue to strive for the understanding of China’s peaceful development by neighboring countries, and work with countries including Japan to jointly explore and develop higher-level mutually beneficial cooperation.
Moderator: Before talking about Japan-China economic and trade cooperation, I must talk about the Diaoyu Islands issue. You also mentioned this in your article.
Just a few days before your interview, two Chinese coast guard boats followed the Japanese fishing boat to “invade” the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands and sailed in the territorial waters for nearly 60 hours.
The Diaoyu Islands issue can be described as a thorn in the throat for Japan-China relations. How do you think this issue should be resolved?
What needs to be emphasized is that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China’s inherent territory, and China has indisputable sovereignty over it.
China and Japan have different positions on the Diaoyu Islands issue. Both sides should properly handle the relevant issues on the basis of fully recognizing this objective fact. Since the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, China and Japan have conducted many communications on the Diaoyu Islands issue and reached a lot of tacit understanding and consensus.
The most important thing is that both sides should look at and deal with contradictions and differences from the overall situation, prevent the situation from intensifying, and prevent bilateral relations from deviating from the right track.
This is also the common issue and goal of both sides
The Diaoyu Islands issue is related to territorial sovereignty and affects the feelings of the people of China and Japan. It is very complicated and sensitive.
It is for this reason that the two sides should communicate in a quiet manner through diplomacy and other channels; give full play to their political wisdom, and find a solution acceptable to both parties on the basis of strictly following the consensus so far.
In fact, China and Japan also have many problems in the East China Sea, such as territorial sovereignty, maritime delimitation, and resource development. Many problems are difficult to resolve in the short term.
The two sides should strengthen communication, work together to manage the crisis, prevent unexpected events, and avoid inciting opposition between the two peoples.
At the same time, the two sides should also carry out more active interactions and explore mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of marine meteorology, ecological and environmental protection, maritime search and rescue, and disaster prevention and mitigation.
If Japan has relevant wishes, China is willing to respond positively and believes that the two sides have broad room for cooperation in the above-mentioned areas.
Moderator: Do you mean that it is possible for Japan and China to carry out cooperation in marine meteorology and maritime search and rescue in the waters of the Diaoyu Islands?
Ambassador Kong: I think China and Japan have sufficient space for dialogue and cooperation possibilities.
Moderator: Will there be friction between the two sides due to sovereignty issues?
Ambassador Kong: You cannot predict the outcome without having a dialogue.
Moderator: During the more than 7 years of the former Prime Minister Abe’s administration, Japan-China relations once fell to the bottom, and they were able to return to the right track and achieve new developments.
Regarding the Yoshihide Suga regime that has just taken office
how does China view its policy toward China?
Ambassador Kong: During the tenure of former Prime Minister Abe, China-Japan relations began a process of improvement in 2014. Since then, the leaders of the two countries have met annually on bilateral and multilateral occasions, and the two sides have reached a series of important political consensus.
The most important of these is to build Sino-Japanese relations that meet the requirements of the new era. In order to implement this consensus and further explore new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Japan, both sides, including former Prime Minister Abe, have made great efforts, and China positively evaluates this.
After Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent him congratulations. On September 25, President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who took office shortly. The leaders of the two countries further confirmed the important political consensus and political will to promote the improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations. It is hoped that the new Japanese government will continue to uphold a proactive and pragmatic policy toward China. China is also willing to work with Japan to promote new improvements and development in Sino-Japanese relations.
Moderator: President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan has always been the focus of discussion within the Japanese Diet and the Liberal Democratic Party. Do you think the conditions for this visit are ripe?
Ambassador Kong: The importance of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan is self-evident.
Both parties believe that it is necessary to ensure that this visit is realized and achieved complete success
in the most suitable time, environment and atmosphere.
Under the current situation, it is still the top priority for both countries to fight against the
new crown pneumonia epidemic and resume economic and social development as soon as possible.
After the epidemic has come to an end, China and Japan will communicate and coordinate on
the timing of the visit and relevant arrangements.
Prior to this, the two countries should make full preparations through dialogue and communication
at all levels to effectively create a positive atmosphere and favorable conditions for high-level exchanges between the two countries.
Moderator: Whether the Japan-China-Korea Leaders’ Meeting can be held within this year has attracted much attention.
Affected by the problem of forced labor, the atmosphere of Japanese
leaders being invited to South Korea to attend the meeting was not ideal.
What is China’s position on this issue between Japan and South Korea?
Ambassador Kong: Regarding the issue between Japan and South Korea, it is inconvenient for China to comment.
As friendly close neighbors of the two countries, China hopes that Japan and South Korea can properly resolve relevant
issues through dialogue and consultation. Under the current international situation
it is of great significance to convene the China-Japan-ROK leaders’ meeting as soon as possible.
China will continue to maintain close communication with Japan and the ROK and make
active efforts to promote the meeting as soon as possible.
Moderator: Japan and the United States have signed the “Security Treaty”, which is a military alliance. At the same time, Japan-China relations are also issues that must be considered before Japan.
In China’s view, should Japan distance itself from the United States and adopt a more
independent political stand to communicate freely with China and South Korea and other Asian countries?
Ambassador Kong: How to get along with the United States should be made by Japan based on its own interests. For Japan, the Japan-US alliance does not mean everything.
As an important member of the region, Japan has been thinking
deeply about how to get along with countries in the region.
It is hoped that based on the common interests of Japan itself and the countries in the region
the Japanese side will proceed from maintaining regional peace, stability, and prosperity, and properly grasp Japan-US relations.
Ambassador Kong also answered questions from the audience on issues related to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and sea.
Moderator: Some audience members asked why the Chinese government
took such a strong response to Hong Kong citizens who are also nationals? Why is there a threat to Taiwan, and can the two sides of the strait carry out further dialogue?
Ambassador Kong: The first thing that needs to be corrected is that the measures taken by the
Chinese government in Hong Kong are not aimed at all Hong Kong citizens.
This is a big misunderstanding.
The Chinese government has always administered Hong Kong in accordance with the principle
of “one country, two systems” and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The purpose of relevant measures is to safeguard national sovereignty and social stability in Hong Kong. In the future, the SAR government will still govern strictly in accordance with the Basic Law.
As a Hong Kong citizen, as long as there is no illegal act, there is no need to worry.
Regarding cross-strait relations, we have always adhered to the “92 Consensus”
as the basic prerequisite for engaging with the Taiwan authorities and various parties.
Denying the “92 Consensus” means closing the door to exchanges and dialogue with the mainland.
Moderator: Some viewers asked, why didn’t China take the issue of the ownership of the
Diaoyu Islands to the International Court of Justice and resolve it through the international judicial system?
Ambassador Kong: There are many possible solutions to the Diaoyu Islands problem.
China is willing to work with Japan to find a proper solution through
dialogue and consultation on the basis of managing relevant issues.
Moderator: Has China considered bringing the Diaoyu Islands issue to the International Court of Justice?
Ambassador Kong: As far as I know, China has not considered this.
Moderator: Did China consider that the Japanese side would not respond to the lawsuit, so there was no appeal?
Ambassador Kong: This is your assumption.
Moderator: I personally think that judicial solutions are more thorough, but China seems
to think that it is better to resolve them through dialogue and consultation. How long will the state of shelving disputes last until the issue is resolved?
Ambassador Kong: It depends on the wisdom of China and Japan.
At the end of the program, Ambassador Kong inscribed the “Friendly and Friendly Neighbors”
proposal for Sino-Japanese relations, stating that developing friendly relations with neighboring countries is the country’s precious wealth.
We hope that China and Japan as close neighbors will uphold the spirit of
“Friendly and Friendly Neighbors” and promote The relations between the two countries have continuously made new improvements and developments.