China says US, New Zealand hyping up its Pacific Island cooperation

China says US, New Zealand hyping up its Pacific Island cooperation

The United States and New Zealand are hyping up China's cooperation with Pacific Island countries with an ulterior motive to attack China, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Wednesday, who expressed strong opposition to a joint statement issued by the two countries.

At a regular news briefing in Beijing, Zhao said it was hypocritical of the US, which runs military bases across the world, to express so-called concern over normal security cooperation between other countries.

It reflects its deep-seated hegemonic mindset, he said, adding that the US is the real threat to security as it is putting together military blocs in the region, provoking an arms race, and bringing nuclear proliferation risks to South Asia.

Zhao said that leaders of the Pacific Island countries praised China's support for economic development, improvements to livelihoods and efforts to fight the COVID 19 epidemic during State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's ongoing visit to the South Pacific.

They are looking forward to the prospect of the China-Pacific Island countries cooperation, Zhao said.

ALSO READ: Why is the US worried about the Pacific islands?

Zhao also pushed back on the joint statement's deliberate hyping up of the South China Sea issue and its unwarranted remarks on China's internal affairs, including Taiwan, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Hong Kong.

He said that the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea was not a problem and that China firmly safeguards its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

China always believes that in the development of bilateral relations, countries should make sure that it is conducive to world peace and stability and does not undermine the interests of any third party.

READ MORE: China always good friend of the Pacific Island countries.

The US side needs to abandon its Cold War mentality and ideological bias, stop interfering in China's internal affairs and stop smearing China, Zhao said, adding that China hopes New Zealand will continue its independent foreign policy and contribute to regional peace and stability.

Lyu Xiang, a researcher on US studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the Asia-Pacific region has been the most stable region in the world since the Cold War and China has played a major role in this regard.

Washington is trying to disrupt regional stability out of its mistaken understanding of China.