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Cablegate: Beijing Human Rights Watchers Discuss Dialogues

VZCZCXRO9173
OO RUEHAG RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHROV RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2599/01 1081135
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181135Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7038
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 0761
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 3959
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN PRIORITY 0090

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 002599
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR DRL, EAP/CM
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2032
TAGS: PHUM KIRF PGOV CH
SUBJECT: BEIJING HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHERS DISCUSS DIALOGUES,
BERN PROCESS, VATICAN, EXTRADITION TREATIES
REF: A. BEIJING 02342
B. CHENGDU 00077
BEIJING 00002599 001.2 OF 003
Classified By: Political Internal Unit Chief Susan
Thornton. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
-------

1. (C) Beijing-based human rights watchers reported
that:
-- Chinese officials referred to the Nangpa La Pass
shooting incident on the Nepal border as "an accident"
during the recent UK-China human rights dialogue.
-- Germany will host the 23rd round of the China-EU
human rights dialogue in mid-May in Berlin.
-- China is willing to resume a human rights dialogue
with Japan if the dialogue avoids "internal domestic
issues" and Japan does not participate in meetings of
China´s human rights dialogue partners.
-- The status of the Sino-Swiss human rights dialogue
is unclear, though some Swiss rule of law projects are
proceeding outside the scope of the dialogue.
-- The EU plans to host the next meeting of China´s
human rights dialogue partners (the former Bern
Process) late this summer in Brussels, but MFA
officials continue to warn that participation in Bern
Process-type meetings will adversely impact human
rights dialogues.
-- The Vatican will participate in the 3rd ASEM
Interfaith Dialogue set for June 19-21 in Nanjing and
a SARA official said German-Vatican cooperation on
bishop appointments would be an acceptable model for
China.
--Japan and China will soon negotiate an extradition
treaty. End Summary.

Human Rights Dialogues: Great Britain, EU, Japan,
Switzerland and Canada
--------------------------------------------- ---------

2. (C) British Embassy xxxx
said at a recent human rights watchers meeting that
the 15th round of the UK-China human rights dialogue
went forward on February 5-6 in London. MFA IO Human
Rights Special Representative/DDG Shen Yongxiang led
the Chinese delegation, which also included a large
delegation of representatives from the Ministry of
Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme
People´s Court and the State Council Information
Office. MFA officials from both the IO and the
European Affairs Departments attended, which xxxx
said may presage a shift in responsibility for
handling the human rights dialogue from IO to the
European Affairs Department.

3. (C) British and Chinese officials discussed NGO
registration procedures, the SPC´s reassumption of
death penalty review powers and Internet freedom. The
British agreed to provide information about NGO
registration procedures in Great Britain. The SPC
said procedures for death penalty cases are still
evolving, and it may publish more about the
procedures. Chinese officials, discussing Internet
censorship, compared the Government´s role in
regulating Internet content to that of an "industry
watchdog." Two All-China Lawyers Association defense
attorneys, whose participation was funded by the
British Embassy, led a "very technical" discussion of
how Chinese criminal procedure law protects
defendants´ rights. The Chinese side gave substantive
responses to 35 of 45 cases on a prisoner list British
Embassy officials passed to the MFA in early January,
though Shen became defensive when asked about
inaccuracies in the responses. Dr. Shen referred to
the Nangpa Pass shooting incident as "an accidental
incident." (Note: In the most recent response to the
Embassy on this incident, TAR authorities stated that
the shooting was a matter of "illegal border
crossers." End note.) Chinese officials requested a
reduction in the number of dialogue rounds from two
per year to one per year, though no decision on this
has been taken. xxxx said the dialogue was "tense
at certain moments" but "cordial by the time it
ended."

4. (C) Germany will host the 23rd round of the China-
EU human rights dialogue in mid-May in Berlin,
according to Germany Embassy xxxx.
The dialogue round will include a legal experts
seminar on May 10-11 as well as dialogue sessions and
a field trip on May 15-16. xxxx reported that the
Chinese delegation, to be headed by IO Director
General Wu Hailong, wants to discuss the EU´s
participation in ongoing meetings of China´s human
rights dialogue partners as an "off agenda" item.

5. (C) Japanese Embassy xxxx reported that China is willing to resume its
human rights dialogue with Japan on condition that the
dialogue will not include "internal domestic issues."
MFA IO xxxx
clarified that, as a further prerequisite to
discussions, Japan must agree not to participate in
meetings of China´s human rights dialogue partners.
Dong added that any country´s participation in the
former Bern Process will have an adverse impact on
that country´s bilateral relationship with China.
"There will be different impacts," xxxx said, "for
different countries."

6. (C) xxxx said Switzerland is still
"unclear" about the status of its human rights
dialogue with China following the Chinese Government´s
demands in late 2006 that Switzerland forego a
"leadership role" in the Bern Process. Swiss Embassy
officials later told the MFA that Switzerland had
complied with Chinese demands but Chinese officials
then complained that Switzerland still operates the
Bern Process´ secure website. The Sino-Swiss human
rights dialogue remains on hold, but China has not
made any clear statement indicating that Switzerland
must make additional concessions. Some rule of law
projects funded by the Swiss Government, which were
previously suspended by the Chinese, are now moving
forward outside the scope of the Sino-Swiss human
rights dialogue. Chinese MPS officials interested in
prison management are still planning an exchange visit
to Switzerland in early 2007.

7. (C) Canadian Embassy xxxx said her office has had little productive
exchange on human rights with Chinese officials since
the MFA´s North American Division assumed
responsibility for administering the Sino-Canadian
human rights dialogue. xxxx said she was surprised
by a statement appearing in an EU-drafted readout of
the March 26 meeting of China´s human rights dialogue
partners that the Sino-Canadian human rights dialogue
has been suspended. Though no further rounds of
dialogue have been scheduled, xxxx said her Embassy
is not aware of any formal decision to suspend. The
Canadian Government, xxxx said, has scheduled
parliamentary hearings to discuss Canada´s engagement
with China on human rights. xxxx previously
told xxxx that if Canada wants China to give a high
priority to its bilateral dialogue, it will have to
give up participation in the Bern Process.

Next Meeting of China´s Human Rights Dialogue Partners
--------------------------------------------- ---------

8. (C) EU representative xxxx said that
the EU will host the next "non-meeting" of China´s
human rights dialogue partners late this summer in
Brussels, where there is "less exposure." If the EU
cannot host the meeting, Germany will host. Norway,
xxxx said, is under pressure not to host a meeting.
Norway Embassy representative xxxx
confirmed that in early February an official attached
to China´s UN Mission in Geneva encouraged Norway to
"stay away" from the Bern Process. Norway has since
decided that it cannot host a meeting of China´s human
rights dialogue partners in 2007.

Vatican Participation In ASEM Interfaith Dialogue
--------------------------------------------- -----

9. (C) Italian Embassy representative xxxx
said that the 3rd ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting)
Interfaith Dialogue will go forward June 19-21 in
Nanjing. xxxx told poloff on April 16 that the
Vatican confirmed its interest and availability in
participating, following a suggestion from the Chinese
that the Vatican join the dialogue. Italy and China
are "co-chairing" the dialogue. Italian officials
initially objected to inclusion of the word "harmony"
in the title of the conference, given the "political
meaning" of the term, but have since dropped this
objection. Separately, xxxx reported that SARA
Foreign Affairs Deputy Division Director Liu Jinguang
recently referred approvingly to cooperation between
Germany and the Vatican on selection of bishops. Liu
said the German "model" would be "acceptable in
China."

Extradition Treaties: Japan and France
--------------------------------------

10. (C) Japan´s xxxx reported that Japan and China
will "soon" negotiate an extradition treaty as part of
the joint cooperation announced during Premier Wen
Jiabao´s recent visit to Japan. French Embassy
representative xxxx said that France´s
extradition treaty with China includes a provision
requiring review of extradition proceedings both by
police officials and by judicial authorities. The
Chinese agreed to this provision only after protracted
negotiations.
RANDT

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