Embassy Spokesperson on Irish Politician’s Remarks on China
2023-05-04 08:00

Question: On 2nd May, Micheál Martin, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, delivered a speech mainly on China and China-Ireland relations. What is the Chinese Embassy’s comment?

Answer: We have taken note of the positive elements of the speech that Ireland values its bilateral relationship with China and wants to work constructively together with China; that Ireland reaffirms it adheres to one-China policy.

Regrettably, the speech overexaggerated the differences between China and Ireland and emphasized the concept of “de-risking” with China. It also made misleading comments on China’s stance on current international hot issues, and made groundless accusations against China on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong, interfering in China's internal affairs.

The speech stated the differences between China and Ireland in worldview, interests and values “will inevitably shape how we engage with one another.” It also underlined the so-called "de-risking" with China. We disagree with this framing. The tremendous development of bilateral cooperation between China and Ireland over the past more than 40 years has fully demonstrated the fact that China and Ireland share extensive common interests,  the convergence of our views far outweighs our differences, and our cooperation far outweighs our competition. China-Ireland cooperation in various fields, especially bilateral trade and economic ties, has brought to Ireland tangible benefits rather than “risks”. To simply define China-Ireland relations with fundamental "differences" or “risks” not only contradicts the positive elements within the speech, but also denies the achievements of China-Ireland relations and turns back on a brighter future for this relationship.

On the Ukraine crisis, China always stands on the side of peace. Its core stance is to facilitate talks for peace. China did not create the Ukraine crisis, nor is it a party to the crisis. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible major country, China would not sit idly by, nor would it add oil to the fire, still less exploit the situation for self gains. China hopes all parties would seriously reflect on the Ukraine crisis and jointly explore ways to bring lasting peace and security to Europe through dialogue. China will continue to facilitate talks for peace and make its efforts for early ceasefire and restoration of peace.

The UN Charter has laid out important principles such as respect for state sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs. Taiwan’s return to China is an important part of the post-war international order. The one-China principle is the political foundation and prerequisite  for China to establish and develop diplomatic relations with any other country, including Ireland. 

The real status quo of the Taiwan question is that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. Taiwan is part of China. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has never been split. Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese ourselves. No foreign forces should try to interfere in the Taiwan question or expect China to make any concession on issues concerning its sovereignty and territorial integrity under external pressure.

The fundamental cause of tension across the Taiwan Strait in recent years is the "Taiwan independence" forces on the island engaging in separatist activities with the support and connivance of external forces. Separatist acts for "Taiwan independence" are as irreconcilable with peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as fire with water. Just as “no one group can have a veto on Ireland's future”, no one can have a veto on Chinese people’s aspiration and determination to achieve national reunification.

If the Irish side truly wants to see the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,  it should unequivocally oppose “Taiwan independence” and any forms of external support or connivance for "Taiwan independence" separatist activities.

The Xinjiang-related issues are not issues about human rights at all, but about combating separatism, extremism and terrorism. Xinjiang once suffered deeply from separatism, extremism and terrorism, which seriously endangered the safety and property of the people there. It is the inescapable duty and responsibility of any responsible government to protect its people's happiness and tranquility.

The people in Xinjiang are in the best position to tell the world what the human rights conditions are like there. And a lot of international friends who have been to Xinjiang said that what they saw with their own eyes in Xinjiang is completely different from what has been portrayed by Western media. We welcome Irish friends from all walks of life to visit Xinjiang and find out the true picture there, instead of being misled by Xinjiang-related lies.

Mutual respect, equality and the approach of seeking common ground while reserving differences are the basis for developing relations between countries. The great Irish politician John Hume said, “Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth, and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” We hope that the Irish side will respect the facts, discard prejudice, and view China and China-Ireland relations in a more objective and rational way.