Cablegate: Beijing-Based G-5 Chiefs of Mission On Sino-German
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O 300926Z JAN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4696
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3272
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4239
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 000332
EO 12958 DECL: 01/26/2028
TAGS PREL, PGOV, CH, FR, GM, JA, UK, BM
SUBJECT: Beijing-based G-5 Chiefs of Mission on Sino-German
Reconciliation; Recent and Upcoming High-Level Visits
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Classified by Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).
1. (C) At the January 25 bi-weekly G-5 Chiefs of Mission gathering, German Ambassador Schaefer described the recent reconciliation between China and Germany, announced upcoming visits by the Vice-Chancellor and Minister of the Environment and called the recent P5-plus-1 meeting a “good show of solidarity.” UK Ambassador Ehrman described the excellent personal relations between Prime Minister Brown and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and the accomplishments during Brown’s recent visit to China, including the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding. Upcoming British high-level visits include the Foreign Minister in February and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in April. Japanese Ambassador Miyamoto said that Prime Minister Fukuda’s December 27-30 visit was a success, the highlight being a speech given at Beijing University in which Fukuda called for greater Japanese-Sino cooperation on international relations. Fukuda also visited the birthplace of Confucius as a reminder to the Japanese public of the shared cultural heritage of Japan and China. End Summary.
2. (C) German Ambassador Dr. Michael Schaefer hosted French Ambassador Herve Ladsous, Japanese Ambassador Yuji Miyamoto, UK Ambassador William Ehrman and the Ambassador January 25 for the bi-weekly G-5 gathering of Beijing-based Chiefs of Mission.
Reconciliation between Germany and China
3. (C) Germany and China, whose relations had soured in the wake of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s September 23 meeting with the Dalai Lama, began to thaw when German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the Annapolis Conference November 26-27. At that meeting, Yang suggested an exchange of letters to clarify Germany’s position on China, Taiwan and the one China policy. In its letter, Germany reaffirmed its positions that “Taiwan and Tibet are integral parts of China,” that Germany does not support separatism and opposes the Taiwan referendum on UN membership. The German letter also stated that Sino-German relations are founded on “mutual respect, equality and a concern for each other’s key international interests.” China asked the German government to consider additions to the letter, but the Germans refused. In its letter of acknowledgement, China added a “confirmation” regarding German non-interference in China’s internal affairs, which the German letter had not mentioned. Given the delicate nature of the situation, however, the German Government decided not to argue the point. At a later meeting with Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hongbo, German Ambassador Schaefer said the German Chancellor can and will meet “whomever she wants, whenever she wants.” German Ambassador Schaefer noted that different countries have received different treatment following their leaders’ meetings with the Dalai Lama. He said the United States escaped virtually unscathed while the Austrian Ambassador to this day remains “a pariah,” unable to meet even a Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
German Vice-Chancellor Visit
4. (C) German Foreign Minister Steinmeier will come to China in his capacity as Vice-Chancellor May 17-19 to visit Chongqing as part of a series of visits with the theme “Better Cities, Better Life.” The visit will feature workshops on the environment and sustainable development, cultural exchanges including rock music concerts to attract a relatively young audience and professional training. The first such visit was held in Nanjing last October. The German and French Ambassadors both noted that the Mayor and the Executive Deputy Mayor of Chongqing are impressive and independent-minded.
German Minister of the Environment Visit
5. (C) German Minister of the Environment Sigmar Gabriel will visit China January 30-February 1 beginning in Guangzhou and continuing to Beijing. Topics of the visit will include nuclear safety and electronic waste. Ambassador Schaefer noted that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has become considerably more difficult to work with, particularly since Chen Deming moved to the Ministry of Commerce.
Germans On P5-plus-1, Iranian Banks
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6. (C) German Ambassador Schaefer said that from the German point of view, the P5-plus-1 (P3-plus-3) meeting in Berlin was “good,” as it showed cohesion among the six parties, who demonstrated a continued willingness to negotiate if Iran stops enrichment activities. The new UNSC resolution will be a combination of UNSC resolutions 1737 and 1747 with added elements that will send a clear signal to the people of Iran in advance of upcoming elections that the Iranian government is “going in the wrong direction.” Germany has implemented effective new rules for banks that deal with Iran, Schaefer said. The rules are not full sanctions, but a “name and shame practice” that requires increased supervision for banks that deal with Iran. As a result of these rules, Schaefer claimed that no German banks are willing to conduct business with Iranian banks and even Chinese and Russian banks have increased their supervision of Iranian dealings.
UK Prime Minister Brown Visit
7. (C) UK Ambassador Ehrman said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao share an interest in economic growth, health and education, which provided a basis for good personal interaction. Brown and Wen struck such a good relationship that when Brown’s visit continued in Shanghai, Wen accompanied him, despite not having prior plans to do so. During the visit, both sides agreed to hold an Economic and Financial Dialogue at the Vice Premier-level and the UK invited the Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund, the China Investment Corporation, to establish an office in London, provided the fund remains transparent and commercially-motivated. During his time in Shanghai, Brown also confirmed British participation in the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Brown and Wen also discussed Burma. Brown urged China to press the Burmese regime to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to hold weekly meetings with her associates.
Accomplishments During the Brown Visit
8. (C) During Brown’s visit, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the city of Dongtan (near Shanghai) on creating a sustainable city. Dongtan is a model environmental city with a goal of zero carbon emissions. The British MOU established, inter alia, a “virtual academy” on sustainability with a large number of British and Chinese universities. The UK signed a second MOU with the city of Wuhan, also on sustainable development. During Brown’s visit, the two countries agreed to redouble joint efforts to reach the benchmarks of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. The British also established a regular exchange program to allow young Chinese politicians to visit Britain. Finally, British pharmaceutical companies agreed to establish health programs in China.
UK-China Dialogue on International Organizations
9. (C) Wen and Brown agreed that UN should increase the number of taskforces dedicated to Peacekeeping and Reconstruction. Brown shared the view that the World Bank should concentrate more on environmental protection and that the IMF should play a watchdog role and seek to increase transparency. After a pause, Wen conceded that increased stability was worth the difficulties that come with transparency.
UK-China Entrepreneurs Lunch
10. (C) Brown’s party included 30 high-ranking business people, as well as 250-300 other representatives from British businesses, who met with Chinese counterparts. Approximately 30 Chinese and British entrepreneurs, including British billionaire Richard Branson met at a lunch devoted to “What Makes a Good Entrepreneur?” The Chinese participants criticized British entrepreneurs as being “overeducated, too conservative, lacking passion for entrepreneurship and too afraid of failure.” Branson agreed that British entrepreneurs are overeducated and that schooling does not prepare one for entering the business world. The Chinese also criticized their own system as inadequate to prepare people for entrepreneurship.
High-Level Visits To and From Britain
11. (C) British Foreign Minister David Miliband will visit China for six days beginning February 26. His trip will include stops in Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will visit China in mid-April. In
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February, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will visit Britain as a part of a cultural festival called “China Now!” He is head of the Chinese delegation to the bilateral U.K.-Sino Task Force, chaired by Alistair Darling on the U.K. side.
Fukuda’s Successful Visit
12. (C) Japanese Ambassador Miyamoto said that Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda received a warm welcome during his visit to China December 27-30. Fukuda had defended good Sino-Japanese relations while serving as the Chief Cabinet Minister under Koizumi, and the Chinese Government had promised that his visit would be a success. Parliamentary problems kept Fukuda from arranging his visit until the last moment, but the trip nonetheless went smoothly.
Deeper Meaning to Fukuda’s Beijing University Speech
13. (C) Fukuda’s speech at Beijing University was the highlight of his visit, Miyamoto said. During the speech, Fukuda noted that China and Japan are both big enough to play major roles in international relations; however, cooperation between the two is necessary for each to do so. Fukuda’s visit to Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, aimed to send a signal to Japanese audiences concerning the shared cultural heritage of Japan and China. Before the visit, the Chinese had asked Fukuda to make a statement on Taiwan, but given the physical proximity of Taiwan to Japan, Fukuda had been unwilling to do so. The Japanese Embassy, among others, had been thus been surprised when during his visit Fukuda made a voluntary statement that Japan would not support a Taiwan referendum on UN membership if it led Taiwan to “take unilateral action to change the status quo.”
French High-Level Visitors
14. (C) French Ambassador Ladsous reported that the French Government had followed up in several ways after President Sarkozy’s successful November 25-27 visit. French officials had made visits concerning nuclear energy, emerging diseases and secure biological laboratories for extremely infectious diseases. France also plans a large law enforcement delegation including the Director General of Police, the Head of the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (the French Counterintelligence Unit), the Chief of the Border Police, and the Chief of the Judiciary Police. These visitors will discuss Olympic security, counternarcotics, organized crime, and police training. Currently, Chinese police undergo training in France, and the French Government is also considering sending trainers to China. In April, former French Presidents Valery Giscard d’Estaing and Jacques Chirac plan to visit, as well as Prime Minister Francois Fillon and President of the French Senate Christian Poncelet. The French will also hold their strategic dialogue later this year, with a sub-dialogue on South America. French President Nicolas Sarkozy (along with other European leaders) will also visit China in October to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit.
15. (C) Princess Anne will represent the UK at the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Prime Minister Brown will attend the Closing Ceremony, to receive the handoff for the 2012 Olympics. French President Sarkozy will attend the Opening Ceremony, Prime Minister Fillon will attend the Closing Ceremony and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will attend the Paralympics. Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito is considering attending the opening ceremonies.
16. (C) Ambassador Miyamoto noted that the Japanese Government is sponsoring over 4,000 young people as part of a Japanese-Sino youth exchange. The French and German Ambassadors noted their governments had sponsored “millions” of young people in exchanges with China over the years. The French and German Ambassadors also both noted an increase in Chinese purchases of lower quality pig meat, such as offal.