Chinese Foreign Ministry Says ‘One China Policy’ is Non-Negotiable

By A.J. Katz 

NBC News’ Richard Engel sat down for a rare English language interview with China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang this morning in Beijing. Engel’s interview with Kang comes just one day after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said “the U.S. is going to make sure we protect our interests” in the South China Sea.

“I don’t think he is in a position to say that that’s international territory,” Kang argued. “There might be difference, or controversial claims over the sovereignty of those islands, but that’s not for the United States. That might be between China and some other countries in this region.”

President Trump’s recently-confirmed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has expressed the U.S. would block China’s access to the disputed Asian islands. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed,” Tillerson said.


Several nations claim territory in the South China Sea, which is also an important shipping route.

The new administration’s statements haven’t gone over well with China, and Kang also struck back at the White House in regard to potential recognition of Taiwan.

ENGEL: How would China respond if the U.S. takes more steps, if President Trump takes more steps to recognize Taiwan?

KANG: I’m not here to prejudge anything, but, we made our positions very clear. Two points. First, this One China policy has been the fundamental basis for China-American relationship.  Second, because this issue touches upon China’s core interests, by no means this is something that can be negotiated, or as a bargaining chip.

ENGEL: So, that sounds like there’s no room for discussion from your perception on that?

KANG: One China policy.

ENGEL: One hundred percent?

KANG: One hundred percent.

Portions of Engel’s interview with Kang will air on tonight on NBC Nightly News.