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Cablegate: September 12 Tao Press Briefing: Taiwan's Un

VZCZCXRO1316
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #5973/01 2550921
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 120921Z SEP 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1739
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1832

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 005973

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ETRD ECON KOLY CH TW
SUBJECT: SEPTEMBER 12 TAO PRESS BRIEFING: TAIWAN'S UN
REFERENDUM, OLYMPIC TORCH, TAIWAN BUSINESS CONCERNS,

TOURISM, YAO MING'S TAIWAN VISIT, CIVIL AVIATION

BEIJING 00005973 001.2 OF 002


Summary
-------

1. Key points at the September 12 Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO)
press briefing were:

-- If Chen disregards the "condemnation of the international
community" regarding his "independence provocations," he will
"bear responsibility for all consequences."

-- Olympic Committees on both sides of the Strait continue to
discuss the Olympic torch route issue because of the large
number of Taiwan compatriots who wish to see the torch pass
through Taiwan.

-- The Shin Kong Mitsukoshi - Beijing Hualian Group conflict
was merely a "business dispute," as confirmed in a joint
statement released the two parties.

-- At a September 6 conference in Xiamen, Vice Premier Wu Yi
encouraged cross-Strait economic interaction and pledged to
help Taiwan businesses solve problems encountered on the
Mainland. End Summary.

Chen Shui-bian Responsible for "All Consequences"
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. At the September 12 regular Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO)
press briefing, spokesman Li Weiyi criticized Chen
Shui-bian's "Taiwan independence provocations" when asked
about Chen's "separatist comments" by a Xinhua News Agency
reporter. Li accused Chen of ignoring the rights and
interests of Taiwan's 23 million compatriots and reiterated
the "immutable fact" that Taiwan is a part of one China. If
Chen disregards the "condemnation of the international
community", he will "bear responsibility for all
consequences," Li added. Later in the press briefing, Li
added that Chen's intended referendum on UN membership would
change the status quo that both sides of the Strait belong to
one China and is an act of "Taiwan independence." Thus, it
naturally is Chen who would bear responsibility for all
consequences.

Cross-Strait Olympic Committees Discuss Torch Route
--------------------------------------------- ------

3. Olympic Committees on both sides of the Strait continue to
discuss the Olympic torch route issue, Li said in response to
a reporter's questions, because Taiwan authorities considered
the large number of Taiwan compatriots who wish to see the
torch pass through Taiwan. Li pointed out that Taiwan had
previously "unilaterally" rejected a consensus already
reached between the two sides in February 2007 and approved
by the International Olympic Committee in April.

Shin Kong - Hualian Issue Merely a "Business Dispute"
--------------------------------------------- --------

4. Li said a conflict between Taiwan's Shin Kong Mitsukoshi,
which runs department stores on the Mainland, and the Beijing
Hualian Group was merely a "business dispute," as confirmed
in a joint statement released the two parties. Shin Kong
expressed its regret and Beijing Hualian stated there was a
"misunderstanding" and apologized, Li continued. Asked if
the detention by Chinese authorities of Shin Kong General
Manager Wu Shin-da after he had boarded an international
flight in China was legal, the spokesman replied that public
security departments took "emergency measures in accordance
with relevant regulations."

Wu Yi's Remarks on Assisting Taiwan Businessmen
--------------------------------------------- --

5. In response to a question about Taiwan business concerns
regarding adjustments to the Mainland's trade policies, the
spokesman said such adjustments are "legitimate and
necessary" and are based solely on the needs of China's
macroeconomic development and changes in the global trade
environment. The spokesman further noted that, at a
September 6 conference in Xiamen, Vice Premier Wu Yi and 21
other State Council officials conducted face-to-face
discussions with Taiwanese business representatives, at which
time Wu Yi encouraged greater interaction between both sides
of the Strait on economic matters, listened to the concerns
of Taiwan businesses and pledged to help them solve problems
encountered on the Mainland.

Cross-Strait Tourism Issues Unresolved
--------------------------------------


BEIJING 00005973 002.2 OF 002


6. Li acknowledged that many technical issues had been worked
out in six rounds of negotiations on the issue of Mainland
tourism to Taiwan, but that some problems still exist. He
expressed hope that the Taiwan side would increase its
efforts to solve these issues.

Yao Ming's Taiwan Visit
-----------------------

7. Li expressed regret over "irrational hindrance" of Yao
Ming's visit to Taiwan by Taiwan authorities and remarked
that he did not know "what they were afraid of." Li said Yao
Ming was eventually welcomed and well received by the Taiwan
public.

Cross-Strait Civil Aviation Exchange
------------------------------------

8. Asked about media reports on the desire for a cross-Strait
civil aviation mechanism for investigating accidents, the
spokesman said he was aware of previous communications on
this issue and that the TAO hopes such contact and
communication between civil aviation authorities will
continue.
Randt

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