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Cablegate: January 17 Mfa Press Briefing: Iran, Senior Dialogue,

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TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM CH TW GM IR UK

SUBJECT: JANUARY 17 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: IRAN, SENIOR DIALOGUE,
TAIWAN, SINO-GERMAN RELATIONS, UK PM BROWN VISIT, ACTIVIST HU JIA

1. Key points at the January 17 MFA Press Briefing:

-- Iran Chief Nuclear Negotiator Saeed Jalili is visiting Beijing
January 17-18 for meetings with Chinese officials.

-- During Senior Dialogue meetings this week, China will exchange
views on important issues of bilateral interest with the United
States. The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important
bilateral relationships in the world.

-- China hopes the United States will make "a firmer opposition" to
the "Taiwan independence movement" and "separatist activity,"
including Taiwan's "independence referendum."

-- China values its bilateral relationship with Germany and hopes
that relationship will move forward on the basis of
"non-interference and mutual respect."

-- China highly values the visit this week of U.K. Prime Minister
Brown, who is traveling to Beijing for meetings to discuss trade
issues, environmental protection and sustainable development.

-- China is a "country of law" and handles human rights cases such
as Hu Jia's in accordance with law.

Iran Nuclear Issue
------------------

2. At the January 17 regular MFA press briefing, in response to a
question asking whether China will back tougher sanctions against
Iran, the spokesperson said that Iran Chief Nuclear Negotiator Saeed
Jalili is visiting Beijing January 17-18 for meetings with State
Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. China and
Iran will exchange views "on bilateral relations and the Iran
nuclear issue." China's position on Iran is "consistent," the
spokesperson said. "We hope Iran will abide by UN resolutions and
demonstrate flexibility in working with the international
community." The spokesperson said that the international community
should resolve the Iran issue peacefully through negotiation, and
added that China hopes the international community will intensify
diplomatic efforts to promote "early resolution" of this issue.

Senior Dialogue
---------------

3. The spokesperson said Chinese leaders are holding high-level
meetings with Deputy Secretary Negroponte this week in Beijing and
Guizhou, where the Senior Dialogue will take place. In meetings
yesterday, China said that it views the U.S.-China bilateral
relationship as "the most, one of the most important bilateral
relationships" in the world. This week, the two countries will
continue to "exchange views on important issues of interest," to
strengthen bilateral cooperation in "handling all issues." Strong,
stable relations between the United States and China serve the
interests of both countries and the world.

Taiwan
------

4. In response to a question asking whether China in meetings with
Deputy Secretary Negroponte had requested the United States to take
specific action concerning the upcoming "independence referendum" in
Taiwan, the spokesperson said that Foreign Minister Yang told the
Deputy Secretary that "a firmer opposition" to the "Taiwan
independence movement" and "separatist activity," including the
referendum, is of great significance to the bilateral relationship
as well as to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. China
applauds the United States' reiteration of its adherence to its one
China policy and opposition to the "independence referendum."

5. In response to a question about whether China expects countries
to seek permission before ships transit the Taiwan Strait, the
spokesperson said only that China will continue to handle port calls
in Hong Kong "according to the principle of sovereignty." China
hopes the United States will honor its commitments vis-`-vis its one
China policy and act with prudence to safeguard peace in the Taiwan
Strait. Asked about reports of an incident between the USS Kitty
Hawk and Chinese ships during the Kitty Hawk's recent sailing
through the Taiwan Strait, the spokesperson said she was "not aware
of the reports."

Sino-German Relations; U.K. PM Brown's Visit
--------------------------------------------

6. In response to a question about China's reaction to German
Chancellor Merkel's recent statement affirming the value Germany
places on its relationship with China, the spokesperson said that
China "values the Chancellor's remarks" and hopes the two countries
can "handle" the bilateral relationship from a "long-term and

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strategic perspective." In an oblique criticism of Chancellor
Merkel's 2007 meeting with the Dalai Lama in Germany, the
spokesperson said the Sino-German relationship should move forward
on the basis of "non-interference and mutual respect."

7. Questioned as to whether China will ask visiting U.K. Prime
Minister Brown not to meet with the Dalai Lama later this year, the
spokesperson said she could not anticipate the exact issues that
will come up during Brown's meetings with Chinese leaders. China
highly values Prime Minister Brown's visit, which will cover trade
issues, environmental protection, sustainable development and other
issues.

Human Rights: Hu Jia and Zhao Ziyang Anniversary
--------------------------------------------- ---

8. Asked about reports that the U.S. Government has raised rights
activist Hu Jia's case with Chinese officials, the spokesperson said
that China handles cases such as Hu Jia's according to law. Some
countries, she said, are trying to interfere with China's internal
affairs using human rights as a pretext. She said China is
"seriously delivering its obligations on human rights." Asked about
harassment of citizens wishing to observe the anniversary of Zhao
Ziyang's death, the spokesperson said "civilian activities should
abide by law."

RANDT

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