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Cablegate: March 29 Mfa Press Briefing

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FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6287
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002096

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MNUC XV CH KN KS JA RS CE PP SU NUIN
PK, TW
SUBJECT: MARCH 29 MFA PRESS BRIEFING

BEIJING 00002096 001.2 OF 002


1. Key points made at the March 29 MFA press conference were:

-- China has always viewed the Six-Party Talks "rationally"
with neither pessimism nor optimism.

-- The "so-called" stealing of United States military secrets
was groundless and had ulterior motives.

-- It is unfair for the United States to blame its economic
problems on China, said the MFA Spokesperson when asked for
comment on Senators Schumer and Lindsay's call for China's
currency re-evaluation.

-- Presidents Hu and Putin signed 21 trade agreements worth
over USD 2.3 billion and reached broad consensus on many
issues during the President's visit to Russia.

-- It is not appropriate to connect the Darfur issue with the
2008 Olympics and people exploiting this juxtaposition to win
favor are "totally wrong."

China Views April 14 Deadline "Rationally"
------------------------------------------

2. MFA Spokesman Qin Gang clarified at the March 29 regular
press briefing that China has always viewed the Six-Party
Talks "rationally" with neither pessimism nor optimism, when
asked if China felt the April 14 deadline for shutting down
the Yongbyon reactor could be realized. Asked for news on
Treasury DAS Glaser's meetings this week in Beijing, Qin
responded that the United States is in intensive
consultations with the parties concerned. He added that all
six parties attach importance to the implementation of the
"initial steps."

Spy Charges Groundless with Ulterior Motives
-------------------------------------------

3. Qin reiteated that the "so-called" stealing of United
States military secrets was groundless and had ulterior
motives, when asked whether Mr. Mak, a Chinese-American on
trial for passing information to China, was working for the
Chinese government.

Senators Schumer, Graham on Currency Issue
------------------------------------------

4. It is unfair for the United States to blame its economic
problems on China, said Qin when asked for comment on
Senators Schumer and Lindsay's call for China's currency
re-evaluation. Qin maintained that China's currency was
floated in 2005 in line with a package of currencies and
responds to market forces. The responsible management of
China's currency is good for the economies of China and the
world as a whole, he said. Qin recognized some parties have
concerns, but expressed frustration with a nation with a
market economy such as the United States trying to instruct
the economy of China, which has transformed from a controlled
economy to one of market socialism.

Darfur and 08 Olympics, Exploiting "Totally Wrong"
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. It is not appropriate to connect the Darfur issue with the
2008 Olympics and people exploiting this juxtaposition to win
favor are "totally wrong," said Qin, commenting on UNICEF
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow's recent Op-Ed in the Wall
Street Journal. He claimed he had never heard of the actress
or the report and said such people must not be familiar with
Chinese policy on Darfur and China's efforts with those of
the international community to reach a peaceful solution and
return stability to the region.

Hu Visit to Russia a Success
----------------------------

6. President Hu met with President Putin and other leaders
during his state visit to Russia, said Qin, calling the visit
a success when prompted by Chinese media. Both leaders
attended the China Year in Russia opening ceremony and the
China National Expo, signed 21 trade agreements worth over
USD 2.3 billion and reached broad consensus on many issues.
They pledged sincere, trusting political cooperation, win-win
economic cooperation, common science and technology
innovation, harmonious humanitarian friendship and security
cooperation based on unity and mutual assistance. The

BEIJING 00002096 002.2 OF 002


leaders agreed to follow the spirit of their Good-Neighborly
Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and continue efforts to
implement the leaders' consensus.

Pacific Island Cooperation Hits Snag
------------------------------------

7. Qin welcomed a press corps group from the Pacific Island
countries to the press conference and said China attaches
importance to the region with the aim of improving relations
to safeguard peace and stability and promoting development
based on equality and mutual benefit. He cited a speech by
President Hu in Fiji last year during the China-Pacific
Island Country Economic Development Forum, stating that China
is prepared to increase cooperation with the region in all
fields.

8. Responding to a call for comment on Vice Premier Zeng
Peiyan's visit to Papua New Guinea and accusations that a
Chinese enterprise is operating a nickel mine in violation of
local labor laws, Qin said the accusations were found to be
groundless after investigation by local Chinese authorities
and the Chinese enterprise. The Chinese government attaches
importance to such reports and always requests that Chinese
companies follow local labor laws and safeguard workers'
rights and interests. China hopes Zeng's visit will deepen
and expand both countries' friendly cooperation.

Nicaragua Hopes Taiwan, Mainland Can Unite
------------------------------------------

9. Qin had not noticed Nicaragua President Ortega's voicing
hope for the unification of Taiwan with the Mainland. The
Spokesman reiterated China's hope that all countries can
abide by the "universally recognized one China" principle.
China wishes to establish normal diplomatic relations at an
early date with those nations who still recognize Taiwan.

War Criminals at Yasukuni Shrine
--------------------------------

10. The Spokesman had not heard of the report released
Wednesday that the Japanese government and Yasukuni Shrine
officials approved the enshrining of war criminals in 1969,
nine years before the names were actually added. Qin
confirmed that China's stance on the Yasukuni issue has not
changed. However, China and Japan have reached consensus on
the goal of overcoming such obstacles and improving the
bilateral relationship, said Qin.

Opposition to Terrorism of all Forms
------------------------------------

11. Asked for comment on Monday's Tamil Rebel air strike that
killed three and wounded 16, Qin reiterated China's
opposition to terrorism of all forms, adding that China hopes
Sri Lanka can realize social stability at an early date.

Visits
------

12. Special envoy of President Hu and Vice Chairman of the
NPC Standing Committee Han Qide will attend the inauguration
ceremony of Senegal President Wade and the 47th anniversary
independence celebration April 3-4. At the invitation of the
Chinese Foreign Ministry, European Commission Vice President
Verheugen will visit China April 1-4. Princess Sirindhorn of
Thailand will visit China April 2-13. At the invitation of
FM Li, Australian FM Downer will visit China April 2-5.
RANDT

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