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Cablegate: January 31 Mfa Press Briefing: Tainted Dumplings,

VZCZCXRO6584
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #0356/01 0311053
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311053Z JAN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4738
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0192
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0519
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1781
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1962

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000356

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ETRD JA SU KN KS
SUBJECT: JANUARY 31 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TAINTED DUMPLINGS,
DPRK, SUDAN, CHEN SHUI-BIAN VISIT TO SPRATLEYS, FINANCIAL
NEWS SERVICES


BEIJING 00000356 001.2 OF 002


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

-- China is taking a "responsible attitude" regarding tainted
dumplings that were exported to Japan, and Chinese
authorities have issued a recall to distributors of the
dumplings.

-- The spokesperson could not confirm that EAP/K Director
Sung Kim had met his Chinese counterparts during Kim's
stopover in Beijing, but said that the United States and
China have ongoing consultations on the DPRK.

-- The head of the Chinese Communist Party Central
Committee's International Department met with Kim Jong-Il
during his recent trip to the DPRK and reported that Kim had
said that current "problems" with the declaration are
temporary and can be overcome.

-- The spokesperson declined to comment specifically on
reports that Chen Shui-bian plans to travel to the Spratly
Islands for military activities, but stressed China's
"indisputable sovereignty" over the islands and ability to
protect this sovereignty.

-- Foreign financial news services have no expressed no
complaints about operating in China.

-- In a meeting with Sudan's Foreign Minister, China urged
Sudan to "push ahead with the peace process," but had not
received complaints from the United States urging them to do
so.

Tainted Dumplings
-----------------

2. At the regularly-scheduled MFA press briefing January 31,
MFA Spokesperson Liu Jianchao said China is taking a
"responsible attitude" regarding pesticide-tainted dumplings
that were exported to Japan. He said the government has sent
an inspection team to the plant where the dumplings were
produced and has requested that distributors recall the
product. He said a preliminary investigation of samples of
the dumplings in question did not indicate contamination, but
that the investigation would continue.

3. Liu emphasized that China is cooperating with the Japanese
authorities on the matter, and that the Chinese
Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and
Quarantine (ASQIQ) would provide additional information to
the public later on January 31. Liu noted that the
government's investigation is ongoing and the Japanese
government had not made a formal protest.

DPRK
----

4. Asked if EAP/K Director Sung Kim had met his Chinese
counterparts during his stopover in Beijing, Liu said that he
did not have specific information on whether meetings had
taken place, but noted that they had been scheduled. He said
that the United States and China have ongoing consultations
on the DPRK through the Six-Party process and that China is
interested in continuing communication with the U.S. on the
DPRK.

5. Liu confirmed that Wang Jiarui, head of the Chinese
Communist Party Central Committee's International Department,
met Kim Jong-Il during Wang's recent trip to the DPRK. He
confirmed reports that Kim told Wang that current "problems"
with the DPRK nuclear declaration are temporary and can be
overcome.

Chen Shui-bian Visit to Spratly Island
--------------------------------------

6. Liu was asked about reports in the Taiwan media that Chen
Shui-bian plans to head a team visiting Taiping Island, part
of the Spratly Islands, for military activities. Liu
stressed that China has "indisputable sovereignty" over the
Spratly Islands, adding that China has the ability to protect
this sovereignty. He added that China wants to work toward
peace and stability in the South China Sea. Liu declined to
comment on a follow-up question that sought clarification on
whether Beijing found acceptable a visit by a leader from
Taiwan, which China also claims is part of Chinese territory,
to the islands.


BEIJING 00000356 002.2 OF 002


Regulations Regarding Providers of Financial Information
--------------------------------------------- -----------

7. A reporter sought comment on statements from U.S.
officials that the U.S. will increase pressure on China to
lift restrictions on providers of financial information,
including the possibility of the U.S. seeking action in the
WTO. Liu noted that there had been conflicting press reports
on the issue. He stressed that the government has been
talking to foreign news agencies on the release of financial
news in China and that they had received no complaints from
the agencies, indicating that there are no problems.

Sudan
-----

8. Liu was asked about Chinese Special Envoy for Darfur Liu
Guijin's meetings with Sudan's Foreign Minister on the
margins of the African Union Summit, in which Liu reportedly
cautioned Sudan to avoid actions that would lead the
international community to impose sanctions, and said that
the world was running out of patience on the Darfur issue.
The spokesperson said China urged the government in Sudan to
"push ahead with the peace process" to restore stability,
adding that China will continue to exchange views with Sudan
and consult with the international community. Liu added that
China had not received complaints from the United States
asking them intervene.
RANDT

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