Beijing likens Cheney criticism to nosy neighbor

BEIJING — Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang responded yesterday to Vice President Dick Cheney’s remarks about China during his recent Asia trip with an earthy metaphor about home invasion and a barbed eight-point statement outlining China’s diplomatic philosophy.

Mr. Qin’s comments strayed far from the tepid boilerplate answers normally issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he was asked about remarks by Mr. Cheney, who had expressed concern over the transparency of Chinese military expenditures and suggested that China’s anti-satellite test in January posed a threat to the world.

Acknowledging that the comparison might not be entirely appropriate, he said: “If you had a neighbor always standing at your doorstep, peering into your household and constantly shouting at you, ‘Why don’t you open your door and let me see what’s in your house, what’s in your family,’ how would you feel about that?”

Mr. Qin continued: “You wear your clothes, you wear your underwear, and when there are people shouting at you, ‘Please take off all your clothes and let me see what’s inside,’ how would you respond? I think you will cry for police help.

“I hope such a comparison will help you better understand our position,” Mr. Qin said.

The foreign ministry official then gave an eight-point statement on whether China poses a threat to the world, telling reporters, “We hope you can make your judgment on the basis of Chinese diplomatic philosophy and its precepts.”

Here is the transcript of Mr. Qin’s remarks:

“First of all China will not seek hegemony. We are still a developing country. We don’t have the resources to seek hegemony. Even if China becomes a developed country, we will not seek hegemony.

“Second, China will not play power politics and we will not interfere with other countries’ internal affairs. We will not impose our own ideology on other countries.

“Third, we maintain all countries, big or small, should be treated equally and respect each other. All affairs should be consulted and resolved by all countries on the basis of equal participation. No country should bully others on the basis of strength.

“Fourth, [in international affairs] China will make judgment on each case, each matter on the merit of the matter itself and we will not have double standards. We will not have two policies: one for ourselves and one for others. We will not do that. We believe we cannot do unto others what we do not wish others do unto us.

“Fifth, we advocate all countries handle their relations on the basis of the United Nations Charter and norms governing international relations. We advocate stepping up international cooperation and do not play politics unilaterally. We should not undermine the dignity and the authority of the U.N. We should not impose and set our own wishes above the U.N. Charter, international law and norms.

“Sixth, we advocate peaceful negotiation and consultation so as to resolve our international disputes. We do not resort to force, or threat of force, in resolving international disputes. China maintains a reasonable national military buildup to defend our own sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is not made to expand, nor do we seek invasion or aggression.

“Seventh, China is firmly opposed to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We are a responsible member of the international community, and as for international treaties, we abide by all them in a faithful way. We never play by a double standard, selecting and discarding treaties we do not need.

“Eighth, we respect the diversity of civilization and the whole world. We advocate different cultures make exchanges, learn from each other, and compliment one another with their own strengths. We’re opposed to clashes and confrontations between civilizations, and we do not link any particular ethnic group or religion with terrorism.”

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