For decades, European countries assumed that China is a benign force in international relations.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Remarks on China-ROK, China-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meetings May 15, 2010
Q: It is reported that when Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung Hwan on May 15, the ROK side brought up the Cheonan incident. Please brief us on that.
A: ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung Hwan expressed his concern on Cheonan in the meeting. Yang Jiechi said that the sinking of Cheonan was a tragic incident. Considering the current situation on the Korean Peninsula extremely complicated and sensitive, China hopes parties concerned could put peninsular and regional peace and stability first, proceed from long-term perspective, remain calm and exercise restraint and handle the related issues properly.
Q: It is reported that when meeting with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada complained that the Chinese marine surveillance ship was trying to change the status quo by approaching Japanese scientific survey vessel on the east side of the "median line". It undermined Japan's sovereign rights and interests. He requested the Chinese side to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents. Yang Jiechi reiterated China’s position. Please brief us on that.
A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi stressed that China’s position on the East China Sea is clear-cut and consistent. China has never recognized the so-called "median line" claimed by Japan unilaterally. The Japanese side has no right to undertake unilateral actions in the disputed sea area. Both sides agreed to deal with the relevant issues calmly to avoid escalation of the situation and undermining the overall bilateral relations.
Q: It is reported that when meeting with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada complained about Chinese navy’s training in the East China Sea. He said that the surveillance by the Japanese ships and planes over the Chinese ships follows international law, while the Chinese side took “dangerous” action. Please brief us on Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s remarks.
A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi reiterated China’s stance. He stressed that Chinese navy was conducting normal training which posed no threat to any country. He hoped the defense authorities of the two countries could strengthen exchanges and communication to promote mutual trust and avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment.
Tensions evident in the recent European Union-China virtual summit reflect the increasing skepticism in Europe toward China and the worries over Ukraine and economic ties as well as human rights and environmental issues.