Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi made a provocative visit to China's Taiwan region recently in disregard of the Chinese side's stern warnings. The visit seriously infringes on China's sovereignty and security, seriously undermines China's territorial integrity, seriously jeopardizes peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, and seriously erodes the political foundation of China-US relations. The Chinese side has been compelled to take countermeasures. The US side has been pushing disinformation to confuse right and wrong and confound black and white, criticizing China's legitimate countermeasures and trying to mislead the world about the Taiwan question. It is necessary to set the record straight with facts and lay bare the US's hegemonic nature and gangster logic.
Fact No. 1: The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations. The meaning of this principle is clear and accurate. There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China, and the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This is the original meaning of one China, and a universal consensus of the international community. The United States, while claiming to uphold the one-China policy, is in effect using the "salami tactic" to distort, falsify, obscure and hollow out the one-China principle.
Taiwan has belonged to China since ancient times. This claim has a sound basis in history and jurisprudence.
A large number of historical records and annals document the development of Taiwan by the Chinese people in earlier periods. The earliest references are to be found in 230 A.D. during the Three Kingdoms Period. Starting from the Song and Yuan dynasties, central governments of China had set up administrative bodies to exercise jurisdiction over Penghu and Taiwan. After mid-16th century during the Ming dynasty, official documents began to use the name Taiwan formally. In 1624, Dutch colonialists invaded and occupied the southern part of Taiwan. In 1662, national hero Zheng Chenggong led an expedition to expel the Dutch occupiers and recover Taiwan. Subsequently, the government of the Qing dynasty increased its administrative bodies in Taiwan gradually. In 1684, a Taiwan prefecture administration was set up under the jurisdiction of Fujian Province. In 1885, Taiwan was turned into a full province.
In July 1894, Japan launched a war of aggression against China known as the First Sino-Japanese War. In April 1895, the defeated Qing government was forced to cede Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan. During the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the Communist Party of China (CPC) made clear propositions for the recovery of Taiwan. During a conversation with US journalist Nym Wales on 15 May 1937, Comrade Mao Zedong said that China's goal was to achieve a final victory in the war — a victory that would not only recover the occupied Chinese territories in Northeast China and to the south of the Shanhai Pass, but also secure the liberation of Taiwan.
On 1 December 1943, China, the United States and the United Kingdom issued the Cairo Declaration, stating that it was the purpose of the three allies that all the territories Japan had stolen from China, such as Northeast China, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, should be restored to China. On 26 July 1945, China, the United States and the United Kingdom signed the Potsdam Proclamation, subsequently joined by the Soviet Union. It reiterated that "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out." In September 1945, Japan signed the instrument of surrender, in which it promised that it would faithfully fulfill the obligations laid down in the Potsdam Proclamation. On 25 October, the Chinese government announced that it was resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan, and the ceremony to accept Japan's surrender in Taiwan Province of the China war theater of the Allied powers was held in Taipei. From that point forward, China had recovered Taiwan de jure and de facto through a host of documents with international legal effect.
On 1 October 1949, the Central People's Government of the PRC was founded, replacing the government of the Republic of China to become the only legitimate government representing the whole of China. The new government replaced the previous one in a situation where China, as a subject under international law, did not change and China's sovereignty and inherent territory did not change. As a result, the government of the PRC should naturally enjoy and exercise China's full sovereignty, which includes its sovereignty over Taiwan. As a result of the civil war in China and the interference of external forces, the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have fallen into a state of protracted political confrontation. But the sovereignty and territory of China have never been divided and will never be allowed to be divided, and Taiwan's status as part of China's territory has never changed and will never be allowed to change.
Resolution 2758 of the United Nations General Assembly established the one-China principle that was widely observed by the international community.
At its 26th session in October 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which undertook "to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it". This resolution settled once and for all the political, legal and procedural issues of the representation of the whole of China, Taiwan included, in the United Nations. It also made it clear that there is but one seat of China in the United Nations, and there is no such thing as "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". The specialized agencies of the United Nations later adopted further resolutions to restore to the PRC its lawful seat and expel the representatives of the Taiwan authorities.
It was clearly stated in the official legal opinions of the UN Secretariat that "the United Nations considers 'Taiwan' as a province of China with no separate status", and the "'authorities' in 'Taipei' are not considered to… enjoy any form of government status". In practice, Taiwan is referred to at the United Nations as "Taiwan, Province of China".
Upholding the one-China principle is a political commitment made by the United States. It is also the prerequisite and basis for the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations.
In the Shanghai Communiqué in 1972, the United States expresses clearly that "The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Straits maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position."
In the Joint Communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1978, the United States expresses clearly that "The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China. The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan."
In the Joint Communiqué on 17 August 1982, the United States expresses clearly that "In the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations on January 1, 1979 issued by the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People's Republic of China, the United States of America recognized the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China, and it acknowledged the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China. The United States Government has no intention of infringing on Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, or interfering in China's internal affairs, or pursuing a policy of 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan'."
The United States keeps challenging the one-China principle through disinformation and misinformation activities.
According to international law, the United States should honor its commitments with goodwill and good faith. It cannot refuse to perform its commitments or obligations under international law by citing its domestic legal provisions, or unilaterally distort China-US joint communiqués based on its after-the-fact, secret assurances. However, after the George W. Bush administration took office in 2001, the United States put its own Taiwan Relations Act before the three joint communiqués. The Trump administration, in the latter half of its term, blatantly inserted the Six Assurances to Taiwan, something it had long kept secret, in its formulation of the one-China policy. The US side deleted key statements such as "Taiwan is part of China" from its State Department website. After Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the United States, together with its allies, issued a so-called statement that attempts to designate situations where the one-China policy is "applicable" and leaves room for arbitrary interpretation.
In recent years, the United States has neglected the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and other international legal documents, falsely claimed that Resolution 2758 did not conclusively resolve the issue of Taiwan's representation, and played up the illegal and invalid Treaty of San Francisco. It has professed that the status of Taiwan has yet to be determined, and declared its support for "Taiwan's meaningful participation in the UN system". The attempt of the United States is to change Taiwan's status as part of China, create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan", and achieve its political purpose of using Taiwan to contain China.
What the United States has done goes against its own political commitments, seriously violates the doctrine of estoppel under international law, and runs counter to basic principles of international law established by the UN Charter such as sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference. These acts are clearly illegal in nature.
Fact No. 2: The US Congress is part of the US government. Congress members' visits to Taiwan run counter to the US political commitment of maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan, and violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués. The US government is responsible for making sure its political commitments to China are honored and executed by all parts of government.
The United States, as one country, must have one foreign policy only. As part of the US government, the Congress has the responsibility to deliver on the US government's commitments to other countries. It must strictly observe the one-China policy and refrain from any official exchanges with China's Taiwan region. Under neither international law nor US domestic legislation does "separation of powers" give the US the excuse to defy international obligations and take actions that go against the basic norms governing international relations, provoke against China's sovereignty, and break its own commitment on the Taiwan question.
Pelosi's visit is a blatant violation of the US commitment of "not developing official relations with Taiwan". As the House Speaker, Pelosi is the number three figure in the US government and second in line, after the Vice-President, to succeed the US President. She traveled on a government jet provided by the US military, and was received with high-profile protocol by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities of Taiwan. During her stay in Taiwan, Pelosi talked about representing the US on all occasions, and claimed that "America stands with Taiwan". A press statement called it the first official visit by a US House Speaker to Taiwan in 25 years. And the DPP authorities have been touting Pelosi's visit as a major breakthrough in Taiwan-US relations.
Past mistakes shall not serve as an excuse for more wrongdoings, still less can they justify today's mistakes. Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich's visit to the Taiwan region in 1997 was itself a mistake, and the Chinese side has all along firmly opposed it. The US should not use Gingrich's mistake to gloss over Pelosi's unlawful visit to Taiwan, still less should it create new excuses for further elevating official contact with Taiwan in the future.
Fact No. 3: Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has nothing to do with democracy. Rather, it is a political stunt and serious provocation that infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, goes against the will of the over 1.4 billion Chinese people, and challenges the international consensus on one-China.
Under the disguise of "democracy", Pelosi intentionally distorts the nature of the Taiwan question, which is purely China's internal affair, and attempts to negate the justification and legitimacy of the Chinese government's efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is a blatant practice of political manipulation with the aim of infringing upon China's sovereignty, undermining China's stability and containing China's development.
By creating the so-called "democracy vs. authoritarianism" narrative on the international stage, the US is clinging to the wrong mindsets of Cold War mentality and zero-sum thinking. It is using ideology and values as a tool to advance its geopolitical strategy, and employing every possible means to preserve US hegemony and western centrism.
American democracy has deviated from the essence of democracy. The American-style democracy is a game of money played by the rich. Ninety-one percent of US Congressional elections are won by better-financed candidates. "One person one vote" in name, "rule of the minority elite" in fact. Ordinary voters are wooed when their votes are wanted but pushed aside once the election is over. The checks and balances have resulted in a "vetocracy", putting partisan interests before the need of national development. The US electoral system is visibly flawed. The practice of gerrymandering, which draws the boundaries of electoral districts by manipulation, undermines fairness and justice. American democracy is fraught with deep-seated problems. Problems like money politics, identity politics, partisan wrangling, political polarization, social division, racial tension and wealth gap have become more acute. The Capitol riot shocked the world. The death of George Floyd triggered waves of protests. The mishandling of COVID-19 resulted in a human tragedy. The problem of "the rich get richer, and the poor poorer" is worsening. The dysfunction and failure of American-style democracy have become an unmistakable fact.
As multiple opinion polls conducted by the Pew Research Center and other pollsters show, the people of the world, including the American people, hold a negative view about the state of democracy in the US. US Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Greene has tweeted, Pelosi is "not staying in America and solving problems afflicting our people" and she is "obsessed with her own power she's held for decades while our entire country crumbles … enough with this fake 'courage' defending democracy."
Over the years, the US has, under the pretext of democracy, willfully meddled in the internal affairs of developing countries and waged military intervention and aggression. It is the biggest threat to regional and international security. Since 2001, the wars and military operations launched by the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria in the name of democracy have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of injuries, left tens of millions displaced, and caused humanitarian disasters in several countries. Under the pretext of so-called "democratic values", the US has wantonly intervened in other countries' internal affairs and even instigated regime change and propped up pro-US governments. The US has implemented the new Monroe Doctrine in Latin America, incited color revolutions in the Eurasian region, and orchestrated the Arab Spring in West Asia and North Africa, bringing disorder and calamity to the countries concerned and seriously undermining world peace, stability and development. To this day, the US still tries to divide the world into "democracies" and "non-democracies" by its standards and blatantly stokes division and confrontation. Such acts will only bring even greater turmoil and disaster to the international community.
Fact No. 4: It is the US and the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces that are changing the status quo across the Taiwan Straits and stoking crisis.
The real status quo of the Taiwan Straits is this: there is only one China in the world; Taiwan is a part of China; and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. The two sides across the Taiwan Straits belong to the one and same China. The sovereignty and territory of China have never been divided.
The DPP authorities are inflicting change on the status quo of the Taiwan Straits: they stick to their separatist agenda for "Taiwan independence" and continue to make provocations. They incorporate "pursuing independence" into their party platform. They refuse to recognize the one-China principle, assert that Taiwan and the mainland should not be subordinate to each other, and proclaim a new "two states" theory. In Taiwan, they constantly press for "de-sinicization" and promote "incremental independence". They incite radical separatists in and outside the DPP to lobby for amendments to their "constitution" and "laws". They deceive the people of Taiwan, incite hostility against the mainland, and hinder the exchanges, cooperation and interconnected development across the Straits. They have steadily built up military forces in pursuit of "independence" and to obstruct reunification. They co-opt external forces to sow the seeds of "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan", going further down the path of seeking "Taiwan independence".
The US is changing the status quo of the Taiwan Straits by playing the "Taiwan card" to contain China, and supporting and conniving at "Taiwan independence" separatist forces.
The United States, betraying its pledge to maintain only unofficial relations with Taiwan, keeps raising the level of engagement with Taiwan, as evidenced by the successive visits or interactions by its Health and Human Services Secretary, Under Secretary of State and other senior officials, as well as the members of the US Congress and its diplomatic envoys. In January 2021, then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the lift of restrictions on its officials' contacts with Taiwan. In April 2021, the US Department of State issued new guidelines to encourage engagement between the US officials with their so-called "Taiwan counterparts". The visit by Pelosi, ranked the third in the US government, to the Taiwan region has substantially upgraded US official interactions with Taiwan.
In violation of its promise to gradually reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution, the US continues to increase its arms sales to Taiwan, emboldening the "Taiwan independence" separatist activities. Despite "severing" its diplomatic relations with Taiwan authorities in 1979, the US has upgraded non-stop the scale and performance of weaponry sold to Taiwan. Over the past 43 years, it has sold more than 70 billion US dollars worth of arms to Taiwan. The Trump administration alone conducted arms sales to Taiwan 11 times in four years, nearing 20 billion US dollars. The incumbent administration has approved arms sales to Taiwan five times, covering advanced equipment such as the Patriot missile defense system, self-propelled artillery, and ammunition supply vehicle.
The US has continued to challenge the consensus of the international community by claiming that the status of Taiwan is yet to be determined. It keeps helping Taiwan expand its so-called international space. The US clamored for Taiwan's participation as an observer to the 75th World Health Assembly. It alleged that each country should be able to determine the contours of its own "one China" policy and encourages countries with "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan to maintain or even strengthen such relations. It must be pointed out that China's Taiwan region's participation in the activities of international organizations can only be handled in accordance with the one-China principle. This is an important principle enshrined in the UNGA Resolution 2758 and an international consensus that should not be manipulated.
The US has been criticized by many at home for its position on the Taiwan question. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in May 2022, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger underscored the imperative to keep to the one-China principle, and warned the United States against developing "something of a two-China solution" by subterfuge or a gradual process. Thomas Friedman, a seasoned American journalist and New York Times columnist, noted in an article on 1 August 2022 that if Pelosi goes ahead with a Taiwan visit, she will be doing something "utterly reckless, dangerous and irresponsible", of which nothing good will come, and "Taiwan will not be more secure or more prosperous as a result of this purely symbolic visit."
The one-China principle clearly defines the status quo of the Taiwan Strait. Any attempt to breach or challenge this principle is to change the status quo. The Chinese people have the firm resolve, strong will and enormous capability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. China will work with the international community to resolutely uphold the one-China principle, and break the illusion of the DPP authorities to seek US support for their independence agenda. Any attempt to use Taiwan to contain China will be thwarted.
Fact No. 5: It is the US that initiated and planned Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. All the ins and outs are crystal clear. Who is right and who is wrong is self-evident. The US and Taiwan have colluded and provoked first, and China is only taking legitimate countermeasures for self-defense. China's countermeasures are firm, effective, proportionate and in line with China's domestic law, international law and customary international practice.
Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués. It endangers China's core interests, and creates tensions, stokes confrontation and instigates division in the region. Facing the provocative behavior of the US, China has made serious representations multiple times. Despite China's repeated warnings, the US chose to go ahead with the visit. It is perfectly justified for China to take resolute countermeasures.
China has made utmost diplomatic efforts to avoid this crisis that is initiated by the US and imposed on China. Over the past four months, the Chinese side has made clear to the US side, once and again, through multiple channels and at various levels, its solemn position that China resolutely opposes the US House Speaker's visit to Taiwan. China pointed out that this provocative US move would trigger a crisis and that China would not sit idly by. We urged the US side to avoid any illusions and misjudgments, and warned that all the consequences arising from the visit shall be entirely borne by the US side.
All the countermeasures taken by the Chinese government in response to Pelosi's visit are what China is fully entitled to do to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are necessary and timely defensive countermeasures aimed at safeguarding China's sovereignty and security, and stopping the US and the "Taiwan independence" forces from going further down the wrong and dangerous path. The relevant measures are a warning to the provocateurs and an effort to safeguard peace across the Taiwan Straits and stability in the region.
China's resolute countermeasures against Pelosi's visit are not only a necessary move to safeguard its own sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also a legitimate action to safeguard the basic norms of international relations and the international order established after the Second World War. The one-China principle has been recognized by the United Nations and the vast majority of countries. It has become a widely recognized basic norm governing international relations and is part and parcel of the post-war international order. By firmly upholding the one-China principle and resolutely opposing the practice of obscuring and hollowing out the one-China principle, China is unequivocally upholding the basic principles of international law, including non-interference in internal affairs and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.
If China took no countermeasure against the US actions that interfere in the internal affairs and undermine the sovereignty of another country, and failed to resolutely resist the reckless and irresponsible US moves, the purposes of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations including respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity would be reduced to empty words. Any member of the developing world that accounts for 80 percent of the world's population may become the next target at any time. By firmly rejecting the US provocations on the Taiwan question, China is saying no to the US hegemony and bullying, and upholding international fairness and justice.
According to international law, all countries are obligated to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries and not to interfere in other countries' internal affairs. Every country is entitled to take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity and stop external interference.
Fact No. 6: It is legitimate and lawful for the Chinese military to conduct military exercises and training in the waters near China's Taiwan Island. The US move to use Taiwan to contain China is the root cause of troubles that undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and even the world.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. The military exercises and training by the Chinese side in the waters near China's Taiwan Island were conducted in an open, transparent and professional manner. The Chinese side has issued safety reminders and navigational warnings in advance. China's activities fully comply with its domestic law, international law and customary international practice.
The normal military exercises and training by the Chinese military in the waters near China's Taiwan Island are aimed at safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, deterring the US attempt to use Taiwan to contain China, shattering the Taiwan authorities' fantasy of seeking US support for "Taiwan independence", and maintaining peace across the Taiwan Straits and stability in the region.
It is the US that has exacerbated tensions in the Taiwan Strait. The US has been flexing its muscles and provoking troubles at will in waters near China. The US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 proposed to "continue regular transits of US Navy vessels through the Taiwan Strait", and "encourage allies and partners to follow suit in conducting such transits".
The US has so far sold weapons and equipment worth tens of billions of dollars to Taiwan and clamored to help Taiwan enhance its "asymmetrical warfare" capability. A senior US Department of Defense official claimed that the US could use Taiwan as a strategic fulcrum of the first island chain and threatened to block China's reunification process. In the "Indo-Pacific Strategy" released in February 2022, the US claimed that it will support Taiwan's self-defense capabilities, thus introducing the Taiwan question into its regional strategy. This is an attempt to play geopolitical games, exaggerate tension and provoke confrontation, which fully exposes its sinister intention to undermine peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.
It is also the US that threatens world peace and stability. The US has launched military operations around the world, wreaking havoc on innocent civilians. Throughout the 240-plus years of US history, there were only 16 years in which the US was not at war. According to incomplete statistics, from the end of the Second World War to 2001, 248 armed conflicts occurred in 153 regions, of which 201 were initiated by the US. Since 2001, wars and military operations waged by the US have killed more than 900,000 people, about 335,000 of them civilians, injured millions and displaced tens of millions. US magazine The National Interest quoted Dakota Wood, a senior research fellow for defense programs at the Heritage Foundation, who wrote that the US consistently needed to deploy military force every 15 years or so. The US is proved to be "the most warlike nation in the history of the world".
Fact No. 7: Those who abide by the one-China principle are the overwhelming majority of countries in the world. Over 170 countries including ASEAN countries have expressed their commitment to the one-China principle. On this matter, it is the US and very few other countries that are isolated.
According to preliminary statistics, in response to Pelosi's visit, over 170 countries and international organizations have expressed their strong support for the one-China principle. Governments, political parties and senior officials of over 100 countries and multiple international organizations have publicly stated their support for China in safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity. Countries that all together hold more than 80 percent of the world's population are standing with China, on the right side of history and on the side of fairness and justice. Together, we advocate respecting the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, abiding by the basic norms governing international relations, and resolutely opposing any country's interference in other countries' internal affairs and infringement on other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is the mainstream voice of the international community. The US cannot change the reality that an unjust move finds little support.
Both the President of the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary-General have clearly stated that the UN will continue to abide by UNGA Resolution 2758, the core of which is the one-China principle.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin said at the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security that the US escapade towards Taiwan is not just a voyage by an irresponsible politician, but part of the purpose-oriented and deliberate US strategy designed to destabilize the situation and sow chaos in the region and the world. It is a brazen demonstration of disrespect for other countries and their own international commitments. Russia regards this as a thoroughly planned provocation. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement describing Pelosi's visit as a clear provocation in keeping with the US's aggressive policy of comprehensive containment of China. It stated that relations between both sides of the Taiwan Straits are exclusively China's domestic affair. The Chinese side is entitled to take any measures necessary to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in terms of the Taiwan question. Russia's principled position remains unchanged: we operate on the premise that there is only one China, the PRC government is the only legitimate government representing all of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.
President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega said that there is only one China in the world, and Pelosi's visit is tantamount to an invasion of China, which shows that the practice of invasion is in the blood of the Yankee Empire.
Responding to a question from the media, Spokesperson for the DPRK Foreign Ministry said that the impudent interference of the US in internal affairs of other countries and its intentional political and military provocations are, indeed, the root cause of harassed peace and security in the region. Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and the Taiwan question pertains to the internal affairs of China. The DPRK vehemently denounces any external force's interference in the Taiwan question, and fully supports the Chinese government's just stand to resolutely defend the sovereignty of the country and territorial integrity. The US scheme to disturb the growth and development of China and its efforts for accomplishing the cause of reunification is bound to go bankrupt.
Spokesperson of the Afghan Interim Government's Foreign Ministry stressed adherence to the one-China policy and urged all countries to refrain from decisions that are considered a violation of national sovereignty of states and would lay the groundwork for provocative actions.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said in a statement that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is an example of the US's meddlesome behavior in different regions and countries of the world. He noted that this behavior will only intensify instability and stokes differences, and, as such, it is deplorable.
The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement that Syria condemns in the strongest terms the unprecedented escalation and policy of provocation practiced by the US against China. China has the non-negotiable or non-bargaining right to take the measures and steps it decides to defend its right to protect and preserve its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a statement, reaffirming its support for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the importance of respecting the one-China principle, while calling for adherence to relevant UN resolutions. The UAE indicated its concern over the impact of any provocative visits on stability and international peace.
Eritrea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that at a time when the flaws and follies of its global policy have become more apparent, and in an attempt to ramp up its policy of containment of China, Washington has concocted the provocative visit of Pelosi to Taiwan with all its perilous ramifications. The latest act is but a continuation of reckless policies that the US administration has pursued in the past years in Asia to advance this singular objective, which is deplorable.
South Africa's National Assembly House Chairperson said in an interview that the US move is a gross interference in China's internal affairs, ruining years of efforts in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. It will inevitably endanger regional and world peace, stability and development.
Zimbabwean Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcast Services and government spokesperson said that Zimbabwe stands fully behind the People's Republic of China in the face of the intrusive and provocative visit by Pelosi, which seriously violates the one-China principle.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus said in a statement that it is with deep concern that it has followed an increase in tension provoked by the irresponsible persistence with which the US has been organizing Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Belarus supports the consistent measures taken by China to reunify the country.
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg said that Pelosi's visit is a useless provocation and that with this trip, there will be no more trust between the US and China. He also reiterated Luxembourg's support for the one-China policy.
The Vice-President of the Senate of Mexico published an article, stating that the illegal visit of Pelosi to Taiwan is an interventionist action that seriously violates other country's sovereignty and undermines regional peace and stability.
Cuba's Foreign Ministry issued a statement reiterating its firm rejection to the actions aimed at harming China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, condemning interference in China's internal affairs, and emphasizing its concern over the increasing tensions and further deterioration of the situation concerning Taiwan as a direct result of the aggressive policy and high military presence of the US and its allies in the Taiwan Strait, and military contacts and regular sale of weapons that undermine international and regional peace.
The Foreign Ministry of the Commonwealth of Dominica said in a statement that many sides and the international community have expressed serious concerns over Pelosi's visit to Taiwan and this visit constitutes a serious violation of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said on its Twitter account that Pelosi's visit is a direct provocation and serious threat to China's independence and territorial integrity, and Venezuela firmly supports the one-China principle and urges the US to respect China's sovereignty.
During the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings held in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, ASEAN foreign ministers issued a Statement on the Cross Strait Development, reiterating ASEAN Member States' support for their respective one-China policy. ASEAN countries have also, through statements of foreign ministries and spokespersons, publicly stressed that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, and opposed "Taiwan independence" and all attempts to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". They support the Chinese government in upholding sovereignty and territorial integrity and achieving national reunification through peaceful means.
The National Security Advisor of the Philippines said in an interview that the Philippines abides by the one-China policy, which means that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The Philippines will continue to honor the one-China policy.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore issued a press release on the meeting between Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and State Councilor Wang Yi, in which Balakrishnan states that Singapore has a clear and consistent one-China policy and is opposed to "Taiwan independence" and any unilateral moves to change the status quo, and stresses the need for stable China-US relations, which are vital for peace and security.
Myanmar's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is causing escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Myanmar opposes any provocative actions causing instabilities in the region and attempts that aim to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Myanmar fully supports the one-China policy and reaffirms that Taiwan is an integral part of the People's Republic of China.
Spokesperson of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan may escalate confrontation between China and the US. If not managed well, it may lead to open conflict and disrupt peace and stability, including in the Taiwan Strait. Indonesia continues to respect the one-China policy.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos released a statement reaffirming its consistent policy of supporting the one-China policy and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, opposing any intention aiming at creating a situation for "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan", and reiterating its firm support for the policy of China on national reunification by peaceful means.
Cambodian government spokesperson said in an interview with China-Cambodia Friendship Radio FM 105 that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan violates the one-China principle and is a provocative move that stirs trouble and could trigger other crises. The whole world is therefore concerned. The Cambodian government highly commends countermeasures taken by China.
The Malaysian Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China released a statement urging Western nations not to practice double standards by trying to compare Taiwan with Ukraine, not to try to encircle Russia and call for respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity on one hand while meddle in China's internal affairs and intend to use Taiwan to divide China on the other. This would be using democracy as a pretext to interfere in and infringe upon China's sovereignty, which violates basic principles of international law.
Think tanks and media of many countries point out that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan violates the one-China principle, undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and is a seriously provocative move. Pelosi's provocative move on the Taiwan question leads the US and the world to disorder and instability. Cross-Straits tensions are caused by US encroaching upon the common understanding reached with China.
Singaporean scholar Kishore Mahbubani said that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is reckless, dangerous and irresponsible, and that she is trying to use Taiwan. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned the US to stop its endless confrontations with China. Yet as the No. 3 political figure of the US, Pelosi refused to listen to any of Kissinger's words and endangered the interests of the US and its people. She fanned the flames in our neighborhood, but refused to bear responsibility for the dangerous consequences she single-handedly created, which should be condemned.
Founder of the French Institute of International Relations Dominique Moisi wrote in a column in Les Echos that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is primarily about her personal image and serving her interests in US Congressional midterm elections. The irresponsible US move has added uncertainties to an already uncertain and fragile world, increasing the risks of the situation spiraling out of control, and risks of complications and war.
German international law scholar and former researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law Matthias Hartwig published an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung pointing out that the argument that China and Taiwan are two independent countries does not hold water. All attempts to support Taiwan's separation from China, including Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, constitute interference in China's internal affairs and violate international law.
A Romanian international politics expert pointed out in a TV interview that Pelosi insisted on going to Taiwan despite strong opposition from the Chinese government and people, with the intention of triggering a geopolitical crisis. The one-China principle is in line with history and law, and is a consensus of the international community. The President of the Romanian Diplomatic Institute said in a video debate that the one-China principle is the political basis on which 181 countries have established diplomatic relations with China, and is written in black and white in the three China-US joint communiqués. China's response to the matter demonstrates rationality and wisdom. The President expressed full support for China's position. A Romanian political commentator published an article accusing Pelosi of trading peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region for votes, and pointed out that instead of manipulating the Taiwan question to contain China, the US should engage in direct and sincere dialogue.
Fact No. 8: The Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue are different in nature. Taiwan is not and has never been a country. It is a part of China. The Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue are not comparable at all.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. The Taiwan question is left over from China's civil war and purely China's internal affair. The Ukraine issue is a dispute between two countries, Russia and Ukraine. Some people in the US have deliberately drawn parallels between the Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue to mischaracterize the nature of the Taiwan question, an issue which is purely China's internal affair. This is also their attempt to seek to deny the legitimacy and rationality of the efforts of the Chinese government to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to serve the US's geostrategic and economic interest at the expense of the welfare of people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and regional peace and stability. This fully exposes their political calculation and sinister intention of using Taiwan to contain China.
The ins-and-outs of the Ukraine issue are crystal clear. As the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, the US led five rounds of NATO eastward expansion over a span of two decades or so since 1999. NATO increased its membership from 16 to 30 countries and pushed its frontier over 1,000 kilometers eastward right up to Russian borders, forcing the latter step by step into the corner. Thomas Friedman, a US media veteran and The New York Times columnist, pointed out in an article that the ill-considered decision by the US to expand NATO led to the deterioration of ties with Russia and the US government deserves much of the blame.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, the US has done nothing to promote peace talks, but sought to benefit from the crisis through a proxy war. This has led to the continuous escalation of tensions and expanded, prolonged and complicated the conflict. This has fully exposed the selfish nature of the US side.
While stressing respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity on Ukraine, the US has trampled on the red line on the Taiwan question and undermined China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is nothing but sheer double standard.
The rejuvenation and reunification of the country are a surging trend. It is where the greater national interest lies, and it is what the people desire. The CPC has endeavored to pursue the historic mission of resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China's complete reunification. We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification, because this works best for the people on both sides and for our whole nation.
We do not renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and a tiny number of separatists and their separatist activities for "Taiwan independence". It in no way targets our compatriots in Taiwan. Non-peaceful means will always remain a last resort.
Fact No. 9: China's sanctions against Pelosi in the wake of her visit to the Taiwan region are justified and lawful. As a sovereign country, China has every right to do so.
The US's moves to undermine China's sovereignty and security have outraged the Chinese people and aroused strong opposition from the international community. China has taken the relevant steps in accordance with the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law. China's response is also well-founded in international law and beyond reproach.
Numerous facts and figures prove that the US is the most unscrupulous country that abuses sanctions. For a long time, the US has used democracy, human rights and national security as pretexts to impose unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction" on others, to seize geopolitical and economic interests and maintain its hegemony. This has seriously undermined the basic norms in international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It has infringed the relevant countries' right to development and their people's right to subsistence.
The US has enacted domestic laws such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, and concocted a series of executive orders to directly impose sanctions on specific countries, organizations or individuals. It has arbitrarily expanded the jurisdiction of US domestic laws with ambiguous theories such as the "minimum contact" and "effects principle", and abused domestic litigation channels to exercise "long-arm jurisdiction" over entities and individuals in other countries.
Statistics show that the previous US administration imposed a total of over 3,900 sanction measures, equivalent to three sanctions on daily average. The number of sanctions designations of the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has grown from 912 in 2000 to 9,421 in October 2021, up by 933 percent. Daniel W. Drezner, Professor at Tufts University and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, published an article in Foreign Affairs in September 2021, saying that the "United States of America" has become a "United States of Sanctions".
The US frequently uses its global hegemony to arbitrarily slap sanctions on countries it regards as enemies or adversaries. Since 1962, the US has imposed on Cuba the longest and most severe systemic trade embargo, economic blockade and financial sanctions in modern history. As of 2021, the UNGA has adopted resolutions demanding an end of the US embargo of Cuba for 29th consecutive years. However, the US government keeps the embargo regardless of the just voices of the international community. Since late 1970s, the US has imposed long-term blockade and sanctions on Iran. In May 2018, the US government unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and subsequently resumed and added a host of sanctions against Iran. The US has also imposed unilateral sanctions on Belarus, Syria, Zimbabwe and other countries for years, and ramped up "maximum pressure" on the DPRK, Venezuela and other countries.
For a long time, the US has launched economic and financial sanctions against Russia. According to statistics from the Russian State Duma, from 2014 to the beginning of May 2022, the number of sanctions imposed on Russia has reached an unprecedented 10,218, making Russia the most sanctioned country in the world, surpassing Iran. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, the US has kept escalating its unilateral sanctions against Russia and coerced the world to take sides. Mikhail Popov, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council, said that while pressuring European countries into sanctioning Russia, the US increased crude oil imports from Russia and allowed its companies to import Russian mineral fertilizers. The war and sanctions have caused refugees inflow, capital outflow and energy shortage in Europe, but enabled the US to profit and make a fortune.
The US has not hesitated to sanction its allies. In 1982, the US government arrested Hitachi and Mitsubishi employees on the charge of industrial espionage to suppress Japanese high-tech companies. In 2013, the US Department of Justice detained four senior executives of the French company Alstom, forcing the company to sell core businesses such as power and grid to General Electric at low prices. Out of geopolitical and energy-related calculus, the US has imposed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project since December 2019. In August 2020, in the dispute between the US and the EU over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus, the US announced that it would maintain its previous decision to impose a 15 percent tariff on large civil aircraft of Airbus. In the same month, then US President Donald Trump announced that in order to provide effective means to address the threatened impairment to the US national security from imports of aluminum from Canada, the US would reimpose the 10 percent tariff on imports of some Canadian aluminum. In December, the US government announced sanctions against Türkiye over its "significant transaction" with Russia to procure the S-400 air defense missile system.
In recent years, the US has sanctioned Chinese institutions and personnel under the pretext of issues related to Xinjiang, Hong Kong, human rights and others which are all China's internal affairs. It also promulgated and implemented, based on lies and disinformation, the so-called "Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act", which completely prohibits the importation of goods made in Xinjiang. In addition, the US has imposed so-called visa restrictions on more than 96 million CPC members and their families.
The US overstretches the concept of national security, fabricates various excuses, abuses export control measures and uses state power to unreasonably suppress Chinese institutions and enterprises. All these have seriously undermined fair competition, market economy principles and international economic and trade rules. The US has put more than 1,000 Chinese enterprises and institutions on various sanctions lists; designated biotechnology and artificial intelligence as key technologies over which export controls are strengthened and investment reviews intensified; and suppressed social media applications including TikTok and WeChat.
Under the pretext of safeguarding national security and citizens' privacy, the Trump administration launched a "Clean Network" program. It explicitly requires the removal of Chinese companies such as Huawei, Baidu and Alibaba from telecom carriers, mobile app stores, mobile apps, cloud services and undersea cables.
China opposes illegal unilateral sanctions and believes that sanctions are never the fundamental or effective way to solve problems. Wielding the stick of sanctions will only inflict serious difficulties on the economy and people's livelihood in the relevant countries.
Fact No. 10: Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has seriously undermined the political foundation of China-US relations and created obstacles to exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. The US must take full responsibility for it.
The Taiwan question is at the very heart of China's core interests. The US, while seriously undermining China's core interests, is asking for China's cooperation where they need it. The US expects China to accept a fait accompli and swallow the bitter fruit of having its core interests seriously damaged. This is typical hegemonic mentality and gangster logic.
The most important thing in cooperation is mutual respect and mutual benefit. For cooperation to happen, there needs to be the right atmosphere and conditions. Prior to Pelosi's visit, China put forward cooperation proposals in eight areas and a substantial list for dialogue and cooperation, which fully demonstrated China's willingness to cooperate. However, the US only wants cooperation in areas of interest to itself and lacks sincerity about China's cooperation proposals. Moreover, the US has kept introducing negative measures on China, which has seriously disrupted China-US exchange and cooperation.
The current US administration has on multiple occasions articulated to China the "five-noes" commitment (i.e. the US does not seek a new Cold War with China, that it does not aim to change China's system, that the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China, that it does not support "Taiwan independence", and that it has no intention to seek a conflict with China). However, it says one thing and does another, and has been constantly interfering in China's internal affairs and damaging China's interests on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns.
Clinging to the Cold War mentality and hegemonic logic, the US has sought bloc politics and concocted the "democracy versus authoritarianism" narrative. It has roped in other countries into its small circles, bolstered the Five Eyes alliance, peddled the Quad, created AUKUS, and stepped up bilateral military alliances. It has also tried every possible means to build an Asia-Pacific version of NATO and advanced "integrated deterrence" against China.
The US has enacted the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which prohibits chip funds from being used for investment in China and Chinese companies from participating in the Manufacturing USA network. It also calls for strengthening security precautions for scientific research against China and assessing China's "threat" to US science and technology. The Trump administration seriously violated WTO rules and launched a large-scale trade war with China. Citing the so-called Section 301 investigation, the US has imposed three rounds of additional high tariffs on about 360 billion US dollars worth of Chinese goods. This erroneous move has not been rectified yet.
China, while firmly opposing all kinds of egregious actions by the US that undermine cooperation, has always sought to advance the sound and steady development of China-US relations for the sake of the welfare of the people of both countries and the world as well as the expectation of the international community and people of the rest of the world. It is the US, not China, that undermines China-US relations and exchanges and cooperation. The US should seriously reflect on what it has done.
Fact No. 11: The responsibility for the suspension of China-US climate talks is on the United States. When it comes to climate change and other issues about global governance on the environment, China will stay committed to international cooperation and continue to honor our commitments with real actions.
China has been making utmost efforts to scale up its response to climate change. In 2020, China announced new targets for its nationally determined contributions. We will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. We are committed to moving from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in a much shorter time span than what might take many developed countries.
China has been working steadfastly toward its carbon peak and carbon neutrality targets. Since President Xi Jinping declared those targets in 2020, the Chinese government has announced major domestic policy measures on climate response on multiple occasions, and continued to build a 1+N policy framework on carbon peak and carbon neutrality. In October 2021, the Working Guidance for Carbon Dioxide Peaking and Carbon Neutrality in Full and Faithful Implementation of the New Development Philosophy issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council and the Action Plan For Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030 were released, which together became the top-arching design running through the two phases of carbon peak and carbon neutrality of China. Implementation plans by sectors, including energy, energy-saving and emissions reduction, circular economy, green consumption, industrial development, urban and rural development and transport, have been introduced. The 1+N policy framework is basically put in place.
China has followed the philosophy of ecological development and has made achievements in green transition. President Xi Jinping's quote that clear water and green mountains are as valuable as gold and silver has become a shared view among the Chinese public. In 2020, China's carbon emissions intensity dropped by 18.8 percent compared to that of 2015, overachieving the binding target laid out in the 13th Five-Year Plan. It dropped 48.4 percent from the 2005 level, meaning China had overachieved the target of reducing the intensity by 40 to 45 percent in 2020 compared to 2005, a commitment China made to the world. China reduced about 5.8 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions in cumulative terms, and the rapid growth of CO2 emissions was largely reversed. Since the beginning of this century, China has accounted for a quarter of the world's new afforestation. China has met the previous goals for its pollution prevention and control tasks were completed with remarkable success, and significantly reduced the number of heavy pollution days. In the report released in June 2022, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago pointed out that PM2.5 pollution fell in China by almost 40 percent between 2013 and 2020, which is almost equivalent to what the US reduced over 30 years after 1970.
China's contributions on energy conservation, energy efficiency, development of renewable energy, transportation, and construction basically all account for 30 to 50 percent of the global total. In 2021, non-fossil energy accounted for 16.6 percent of energy consumption in China. China was the top consumer of non-fossil energy in the world. China's use of renewable energy and total installed power generation capacity have reached record highs, with the installed scale of hydropower, wind power, photovoltaic and biomass power generation staying at the top of the world. China is committed to reaching a total installed capacity of 1.2 billion kilowatts of wind and solar power by 2030, which alone will exceed the total installed power capacity of the US. China's production and sales of new energy vehicles have ranked first in the world for seven consecutive years. China's installed share of coal power generation dropped historically to below 50 percent in 2020, total emissions from the coal power industry fell by nearly 90 percent over a decade, and coal consumption of thermal power units has been reduced significantly, saving over 700 million tonnes of raw coal over the decade.
China actively promotes the building of a fair, reasonable, cooperative and mutually beneficial global climate and environmental governance system. As an important participant in global climate governance, China has always actively participated in the main-channel negotiations on climate change and made historic contributions to the conclusion of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. China hosted Part I of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2021, which injected fresh impetus into global governance on biodiversity.
China strongly supports the development of green and low-carbon energy in developing countries. China upholds the concept of "teaching people to fish" and does its best to help developing countries, especially small island countries, African countries and LDCs, to reduce the adverse impact of climate change and improve their capacity to cope with it. Over the past 10-plus years, China has invested about 1.2 billion yuan in South-South cooperation on climate change and signed 40 cooperation documents with 35 countries. For nearly eight years up to 2021, China had implemented more than 200 Chinese aid projects to help other countries address climate change, provided energy-saving and new energy products and equipment to nearly 40 countries, and trained about 2,000 officials and professionals in the field of climate change for 120 developing countries. In April 2022, China launched the China-Pacific Island Countries Climate Action Cooperation Center to add new momentum to climate action in small island countries.
The US has a poor track record on climate change. The US is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases in cumulative terms. Its per capita carbon emissions have remained high. They are more than double those of China. The US refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. It withdrew from the Paris Agreement at one point, and is slow to fulfill its financial commitments under the Green Climate Fund. It has also used the so-called Xinjiang-related issues as a pretext to sanction and suppress Chinese photovoltaic companies, hindering the global development of new energy. The US has not yet joined the Convention on Biological Diversity, and has long stayed outside the global biodiversity protection system.
Since the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009, the US still has not earnestly fulfilled its commitments of providing climate finance for developing countries. According to a report released by the World Resources Institute in October 2021, indicators including GDP and cumulative greenhouse gas emissions suggest the US should contribute between 40 and 47 percent of the total 100 billion US dollars climate finance effort in 2018. But the US provided less than 20 percent of its due share with a shortfall of at least 21 billion US dollars and up to 40 billion US dollars. The US lack of credibility and due responsibility has severely undermined the process of global climate governance.
In June 2022, a US Supreme Court's ruling decided that the Environmental Protection Agency has no right to limit greenhouse gas emissions at the state level, and cannot force power plants to move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. This decision will further undermine the Biden administration's capability to respond to climate change. Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, indicated at the regular noon briefing that the US Supreme Court's ruling is a setback in the global fight against climate change and makes it even more difficult to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
China will, as always, actively participate in international and multilateral cooperation to address climate change. China will continue to unswervingly move toward the targets of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, actively participate in main-channel negotiations on climate change, provide support and assistance to developing countries to the best of its capabilities, and make its own contribution to addressing the global challenge of climate change.
The cooperation between China and the US in the field of climate change cannot be separated from the overall environment of China-US relations. Due to the egregious impact of Pelosi's provocative visit to Taiwan, China had to suspend the bilateral climate talks with the US. All consequences arising therefrom shall be borne by the US. The US needs to stop looking for new excuses for its inaction on climate change.