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Cablegate: April 25 Tao Press Briefing: Who Membership, Lien

VZCZCXRO6200
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2782/01 1150930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250930Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7228
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002782

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ETRD ECON CH TW
SUBJECT: APRIL 25 TAO PRESS BRIEFING: WHO MEMBERSHIP, LIEN
CHAN VISIT, SPYING ACCUSATIONS, TAIWAN OFFICIAL DENIED
VISA, OLYMPIC TORCH ROUTE


Summary
-------

1. Key points at the April 25 Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO)
press briefing were:

-- Taiwan cannot join the WHO as a "member," "associate
member" or "observer."

-- Specific arrangements are still being discussed for a
possible meeting between KMT's Lien Chan and President Hu.

-- The planned route of the Olympic torch will be announced
tomorrow. End summary.

Taiwan's Joining WHO Violates WHO Rules
--------------------------------------

2. In response to a question from a Central China Radio
reporter about Chen Shui-bian's letter to the Director
General of the WHO regarding Taiwan membership, Taiwan
Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Yang Yi said that because
Taiwan is a part of China and only sovereign states may join
the WHO, Taiwan can not join the organization as a "member,"
"associate member" or "observer." Yang added that attempts
to join under the name "Taiwan" constitute "Taiwan
independence" separatist activities and are opposed by Taiwan
public opinion, the Mainland and the international community.
However, he stated that the Mainland highly regards and
protects the health rights of the Taiwan people and
vigorously promotes exchange and cooperation in this field.
Since a memorandum of understanding was signed by China and
the WHO in May 2005, the Mainland has actively supported
Taiwan's health experts' attendance at WHO-sponsored
activities, added Yang.

Lien-Hu Meeting Still Under Consultation
----------------------------------------

3. Asked for details of a possible meeting between President
Hu and Honorary KMT Chairman Lien Chan who is currently
visiting the Mainland for the Third CCP-KMT sponsored
"Cross-Strait Forum on Trade and Culture" to be held April
28-29 in Beijing, Yang said that specific arrangements are
still being discussed.

Kaohsiung Vice-Mayor Denied Visa
--------------------------------

4. Asked repeatedly for the reason behind Kaohsiung City
Vice-Mayor Cheng Wen-long's inability to get a visa to the
Mainland, Yang responded that the initial list of members for
a delegation of Kaohsiung representatives to the Mainland did
not include Cheng, whose name was added at the last minute.
Thus, there was not enough time to process his application.
Yang downplayed a reporter's suggestion that Cheng's
political leanings led to his visa's refusal as
"over-complicating" the issue.

Trade and Culture Forum: Education and Tourism
--------------------------------------------- -

5. The spokesman called attention to education, tourism and
direct links as the main topics of the Cross-Strait Forum on
Trade and Culture, which is expected to draw nearly 300
Taiwan representatives and almost 200 from the Mainland.
Yang listed examples of educational exchange, but complained
that Taiwan authorities hinder cooperation by not recognizing
Mainland academic qualifications and by promoting so-called
"de-Sinification" activities. Asked about intentions to
restrict the opening of schools for children of Taiwan
businessmen on the Mainland, Yang denied such plans and cited
the existence of three schools in Jiangsu, Guangdong and
Shanghai with a combined total of 2,700 students.

6. On the topic of tourism, Yang reiterated the Mainland's
support for Mainland residents' travel to Taiwan, but accused
those who hinder the realization of Mainland tourists to
Taiwan of being irresponsible to people on both sides of the
Strait.

Spying Accusations, TAO Personnel Speculation
---------------------------------------------

7. Yang scoffed at reporters' suggestions of Mainland spies
in Taiwan, refusing to give a comment on the issue. The
spokesman also declined to comment on speculation that TAO
Economic Director He Shizhong might soon be replaced by Xu
Mang, Director of Personnel at TAO.

Pan-Blue Coalition Illegal

BEIJING 00002782 002 OF 002


--------------------------

8. In response to a reporter's question about alleged
arrests and beatings of Mainland activists belonging to the
self-described "Pan-Blue Coalition," (a group of political
activists based in Central China) the spokesman stated that
the "so-called" "Pan-Blue Coalition" has not gone through
proper registration channels and their activities are
illegal. Yang stated that this situation has nothing to do
with the KMT.

Olympic Torch Route Announcement Tomorrow
-----------------------------------------

9. Responding to questions about whether the Olympic torch
would pass through Taiwan before the 2008 Games, Yang
confirmed that the relevant information will be released
tomorrow.

Taiwan Investment Group Under TAO Supervision
---------------------------------------------

10. Asked about the relationship between the newly
established Federation of Taiwan Compatriots Investments and
Enterprises and the TAO, Yang clarified that according to law
the TAO is the department responsible for the Federation's
service management, guidance and supervision.
RANDT

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