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Cablegate: February 21 Mfa Press Briefing: U.S. Satellite, Six-Party

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OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #0634/01 0521116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211116Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5252
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000634

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM MARR KOLY ETRD CH JA RS SU SR BM
KS, KN, TW, XA

SUBJECT: FEBRUARY 21 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: U.S. SATELLITE, SIX-PARTY
TALKS, AFRICA, CHINA-JAPAN STRATEGIC DIALOGUE, SECRETARY RICE VISIT

1. Key points at the February 21, 2008 MFA Press Briefing were:

-- China continues to watch closely the destruction of an errant
U.S. satellite.

-- China acknowledges "difficulties" in the Six-Party Talks, but
believes all parties have the political will to honor their
commitments.

-- China's policy in Africa is responsible and conducive to Africa's
development.

-- China-Japan Strategic Dialogue will help the two countries
exchange views "to increase cooperation."

-- The spokesman announced the upcoming visit of Secretary Rice.

U.S. Satellite Destruction Closely Watched
------------------------------------------

2. During the February 21 regular MFA press briefing, spokesperson
Liu Jianchao responded to a question about the successful
destruction of an errant U.S. satellite saying that China was
closely following the "possible harm caused by the U.S. action to
outer space security and relevant countries." Liu added that China
requested that the United States fulfill its obligations in "real
earnest" and provide data so that relevant countries might take
precautions.

Six-Party Talks
---------------

3. Liu confirmed that China recently had an "exchange of views" with
Assistant Secretary Hill and DPRK VFM Kim Kye-Gwan. Liu said all
parties recognize that the Six-Party Talks has resulted in positive
progress. Liu admitted that there have been some "difficulties"
recently but said that "all parties have the political will" to
honor their commitments. China is ready to continue to promote the
denuclearization process and realize the goals of the joint
statement.

4. China, ROK and DPRK will hold an economic and energy working
group on February 21 in Beijing. This "association within the
Six-Party Talks" will discuss the coordination of economic support
to the DPRK.

China in Africa
---------------

5. Responding to a question regarding President Bush's comments
concerning China's activities in Africa, Liu said that he could not
comment on United States-Africa policy. China's policy, Liu said,
is responsible and conducive to Africa's development. Liu said that
the cooperation between China and Africa was "widely applauded by
the African people" during the meeting between President Bush and
the President of Ghana.

Eighth China-Japan Strategic Dialogue
-------------------------------------

6. Liu confirmed that the Eighth China-Japan Strategic Dialogue will
take place from February 22-23 in Beijing. The Chinese delegation
will be led by VFM Wang Yi. The two parties will "exchange views on
how to increase cooperation" and will discuss the dumpling issue "if
necessary." Liu also said that it was irresponsible and
unscientific for Japanese authorities to make judgments on the
dumpling issue at this stage in the investigation.

Secretary Rice Visit Announced

SIPDIS
------------------------------

7. Liu announced that Secretary Rice will visit China from February
26-27. China hopes that the two sides can "exchange views in an
in-depth way on issues of mutual interest" and implement the
consensus reached by the two leaders. Liu also said that China
hopes to promote the development of the United States-China
strategic cooperative partnership.

Huawei Deal Rejection
---------------------

8. When asked whether the recent ruling against the Huawei bid to
purchase 3Com caused China to worry about protectionist practices,
Liu responded that Huawei was a capable manufacturer of
telecommunication technology and that China hoped U.S. authorities
would act according to the law to ensure a fair environment.

Civil and Political Rights, Tibetan Language, Vatican Relations,
Nigeria President Visit
--------------------------------------------- --------

BEIJING 00000634 002 OF 002

9. Liu said in response to a question about Olympic related pledges
to protect human rights that China began working to expand civil and
political rights before the founding of the PRC and would continue
its efforts after the Olympics. Responding to a question about
claims that China should do more to protect the Tibetan language,
Liu said that the local government and schools in Tibet used
Tibetan. Such claims will not deceive those with an understanding
of the region, he added. Liu did not know whether Vatican
representatives would attend the Olympics, but noted that China and
the Vatican are in contact "toward the improvement of relations."
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua will visit China from February
27-March 1.

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