Q: US Secretary of State Pompeo said in an interview on August 19 that China made promises about Hong Kong, the South China Sea and human rights and that the US must negotiate a trade agreement that can be verified and enforced to ensure it doesn't "suffer from China breaking a promise". I wonder if you would like to comment on that?
A: We Chinese always believe that one's word shall be kept at all costs. More than two thousand years ago, Confucius taught us to honor our promises with concrete actions. This is part of our cultural tradition and a way of life for the Chinese people. When it comes to abiding by international treaties and fulfilling international obligations, China has an impeccable record.
The US, on the contrary, has been breaking commitments, overturning consensus and trampling on rules at every turn. Just look at the Paris Agreement on climate change, the JCPOA, and more recently, the INF treaty. It never hesitates to renegeon its earlier major commitments that bear on global strategic balance and stability. Does it have even a shred of credibility left?
So, as a country that is so good at flip-flops and withdrawals, that is always ready to knock over the table and walk away, the US is in no place to talk about honoring commitments.