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Cablegate: January 24 Mfa Press Briefing: Darfur, Olympics,

VZCZCXRO9928
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #0261/01 0241051
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241051Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4617
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0190

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000261

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KN VT KS IR SU TW CH
SUBJECT: JANUARY 24 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: DARFUR, OLYMPICS,
DALAI LAMA, IRAN, NORTH KOREA


1. Key points at the regular January 24 MFA press
briefing:

-- China is playing a constructive role in Darfur and
any attempt to link the Olympics and Darfur "goes
against the Olympic spirit."

-- The Dalai Lama is not a religious or spiritual
leader but someone who seeks to undermine Chinese
unity.

-- All sides in the Iranian nuclear dispute should be
"creative" in seeking a diplomatic breakthrough.

-- China and Vietnam are committed to resolving their
disagreements over the South China Sea through
negotiation.

-- China has improved its military transparency
through increased military-to-military exchanges and
the publication of defense white papers.

-- The Six-Party Talks are moving forward and all
parties in the Talks should fulfill their obligations.
China is following through on its commitments to
provide material aid to North Korea.

-- The MFA spokesperson said she was unaware of
reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il will
transit through China on his way to visit Vietnam.

Darfur and the Olympics
-----------------------

2. At the routine MFA press briefing January 24, MFA
Spokesperson Jiang Yu said China is playing a
"positive and constructive role" in Darfur and is
promoting both a political resolution and the
deployment of the Africa Union-United Nations hybrid
peacekeeping force. China was the first country to
promise troops to the peacekeeping effort, and 140
Chinese engineering troops are already in Sudan.
Additional Chinese troops will be deployed soon. Any
attempt to politicize the Olympics by linking the
Games to Darfur "goes against the Olympic spirit."
Asked whether China protested a recent attack on UN
vehicles by the Sudanese military, Jiang merely said
that there will be "problems and difficulties" given
the "unprecedented scope" of the Darfur peacekeeping
mission.

Dalai Lama Undermining China's Unity
------------------------------------

3. In response to a question on the Dalai Lama's
asking his followers to protest peacefully during the
Olympics, Jiang asserted that the Dalai Lama is a
"political exile" whose real aim is to undermine
China's relations with other nations and harm China's
unity. The Dalai Lama is not a religious or spiritual
leader and the international community should not
support his activities.

Iran: P5-plus-1 Agreement on New UNSC Resolution
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. China urges all sides in the Iran nuclear dispute to
be "creative" and make a "breakthrough" in diplomatic
talks. Jiang noted that the P5-plus-1 members had
agreed on the text of a new UN Security Council
resolution that will urge continued diplomacy and
encourage Iran to cooperate with the International
Atomic Energy Agency. China hopes all sides can step
up diplomatic efforts in order to reach a
comprehensive settlement.

China-Vietnam Talks on South China Sea
--------------------------------------

5. Commenting on the January 23 meeting in Beijing of
the Steering Committee on China-Vietnam Bilateral
Relations, Jiang said China and Vietnam have agreed to
"properly handle" disputes related to the South China
Sea. The talks were led by State Councilor Tang
Jiaxuan and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem. China's position
that the South China Sea islands are part of Chinese
territory remains unchanged, she added, but China and
Vietnam are committed to resolving the issue through
negotiations.


BEIJING 00000261 002 OF 002


Military Transparency
---------------------

6. A journalist asked Jiang to comment on recent
statements by PACOM Commander Admiral Keating and
Deputy Secretary Negroponte that China should increase
its military transparency. China's military policy is
defensive in nature, Jiang said, and aimed at
preserving China's sovereignty and territorial
integrity. China has strengthened military-to-
military exchanges with other countries and has issued
defense white papers in an effort to increase
transparency.

Hong Kong Port Visits
----------------------

7. Asked if China's "top leaders" decide whether U.S.
military ships can visit Hong Kong, Jiang said China
retains authority to approve all such port calls in
accordance with the principle of sovereignty.

North Korea: Six-Party Talks
----------------------------

8. Jiang pointed to the disablement of North Korea's
nuclear facility at Yongbyon as a sign that the six
parties are making progress. All parties should move
forward under the principle of "action for action."
China is proceeding with the delivery of heavy fuel
oil and urges other parties to fulfill their
obligations quickly so that second-phase actions can
be completed as soon as possible.

Reported Kim Jong-Il Visit to Vietnam via China
--------------------------------------------- --

9. Jiang said she was unaware of reports that North
Korean leader Kim Jong-Il will transit through China on
his way to visit Vietnam. Jiang added that the
Communist Party of China and the Korean Workers Party
enjoy good relations.

Taiwan
------

10. In response to a series of questions about Taiwan,
Jiang repeated standard language that Taiwan is an
"inalienable part of China." Taiwan is the "core"
issue in U.S.-China bilateral relations. China urges
the United States to safeguard bilateral relations by
adhering to the one-China policy and the Three
Communiques.

South Korean Asylum for FLG Practitioners
-----------------------------------------

11. Jiang said she was unaware of reports that a South
Korean court had recently granted political refugee
status to two followers of the Falun Gong (FLG)
movement. China has banned the FLG according to law
and thus "there is no persecution to speak of." China
hopes other countries will not believe the "lies" of
the FLG and grant refugee status to FLG practitioners.
RANDT

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