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Cablegate: February 26 Mfa Press Briefing: Secretary Rice Visit,

VZCZCXRO7247
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #0686/01 0571158
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261158Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5333
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000686

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 26 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: SECRETARY RICE VISIT,
CHINA'S VATICAN POLICY, REACTION TO "88 GENERATION'S" CALL TO
BOYCOTT OLYMPICS, JAPANESE DUMPLING ISSUE


1. Key points at the February 26, 2008 MFA Press Briefing were:

-- The spokesman reported that both Secretary Rice and FM Yang
stressed the importance of the consensus President Bush and
President Hu had reached on the bilateral relationship.

-- Yang stressed to Secretary Rice that Taiwan is China's biggest
concern and expressed appreciation for her statements against
Taiwan's UN referendum and in support of a one China policy, said
Liu.

-- Both sides expressed their satisfaction with DPRK
denuclearization developments and a desire to press ahead with the
Six-Party Talks.

-- China believes the Iran nuclear issue should be left to
diplomatic negotiations to "sort out."

--China wants to develop Vatican relations as long as the Vatican
severs official relations with Taiwan and does not "interfere in
domestic matters in the name of religious affairs."

--China is opposed to the politicization of the Olympic Games and
views its policy towards Burma as mutually beneficial and conducive
to a peaceful and democratic resolution.

-- Chinese and Japanese law enforcement cooperation to investigate
the poisoned dumpling issue continues.

U.S. Secretary of State Rice's Visit
------------------------------------

2. During the February 26 regular MFA press briefing, spokesperson
Liu Jianchao reviewed Secretary Rice's meeting with Foreign Minister
Yang. Both Secretary Rice and FM Yang stressed the importance of
the consensus President Bush and President Hu had reached on
bilateral relations as the groundwork for promoting the
relationship, said Liu.

3. According to Liu, FM Yang noted the upcoming 30th anniversary of
the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States
and China and said "major progress has been made in the U.S.-China
bilateral relationship." Both sides should look to develop
"long-term and strategic interests," Yang noted during the meeting,
said Liu. Yang stressed to Secretary Rice that the issue of Taiwan
is China's biggestconcern and expressed appreciation for her
staements aginst Taiwan's UN referendum and insupport of a one
China policy, Liu said. Yang added that he hoped that the United
States would "take all necessary measures" to prevent Taiwan
independence, safeguard cross-strait stability and work towards
common strategic interests, stated Liu.

4. According to Liu, Secretary Rice said that U.S.-China relations
had a "sound tradition" and highlighted cooperation on bilateral and
global issues. Commenting on the benefits of the bilateral economic
relationship, Secretary Rice characterized the Strategic Economic
Dialogue as "fruitful," said Liu. She expressed appreciation for
China's role in issues such as Darfur and added that the United
States opposes the politicization of the Olympic Games, reported
Liu. Reiterating the United States adherence to a "one China
policy," she stated that the United States opposes the Taiwan
referendum because it would be "no good to any party," continued
Liu.

5. Both sides expressed their satisfaction with DPRK
denuclearization developments and a desire to press ahead with the
Six-Party Talks. Secretary Rice and FM Yang also exchanged views on
nuclear issues, Iran and Darfur, said Liu. He added that Secretary
Rice will also have meetings with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen
Jiabao, and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan.

6. In response to questions about the resumption of a U.S.-China
Human Rights Dialogue and establishment of a direct military
telephone line, Liu confirmed that both had been agreed upon but the
arrangements had not been finalized.

Iran Sanctions Proposal
-----------------------

7. In response to a question about China's position on the U.S.
draft sanctions resolution against Iran in the UN Security Council,
Liu said that China believes it should be left to diplomatic
negotiations to "sort out this issue." China hopes all members of
the UN Security Council will continue their consultations, he
continued. China's main goal in the matter was to "create
conditions for the proper resolution" and "resume talks between
relevant countries," Liu stated.

China-Vatican Relations

BEIJING 00000686 002 OF 002


-----------------------

8. Responding to a follow-up question from last week's press
briefing on China-Vatican "contact," Liu said that China wants to
improve the China-Vatican relationship according to two fundamental
principles: that the Vatican sever "so-called diplomatic relations
with Taiwan" and will not "interfere with China's internal affairs
in the name of religious affairs." In line with these principles,
according to Liu, "there have been contacts."

Olympic Boycott
---------------

9. Asked China's response to the Burmese organization
"88 Generation's" call for a boycott of the Olympic Games, Liu said
he wasn't familiar with this specific organization, but affirmed
China's "friendly policy" towards Burma. Liu characterized China's
Burma policy as "beneficial to the Burmese and Chinese people" and
"conducive to the democratic process as well as peace and
reconciliation in Burma." Liu said that China is firmly against any
"politicization of the Olympics."

China-Japan Police Cooperation on the Dumpling Issue
--------------------------------------------- -------

10. When asked for confirmation about whether or not the Vice
Minister from the Ministry of Public Security went to "the scene" to
guide the poisoned dumpling investigation, Liu stated that the
Deputy Chief of the Japanese National Police Agency and Vice
Minister Meng Kongwei from the MPS met in China to exchange views on
the matter. Both sides place great significance on the matter and
hope for a conclusion to the investigation as soon as possible, Liu
said.

Hu Jia's Arrest, Repatriated Tibetan from Nepal
--------------------------------------------- --

11. In response to a question about whether or not human rights
activist Hu Jia's arrest had a connection to the Olympics or was
related to politics, Liu stated that China operates according to the
rule of law and that anyone who violated Chinese law would be
punished. Liu was not familiar with the case of the Tibetan
repatriated from Nepal but stated that the international community
needs to "strengthen cooperation on illegal immigration."

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