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Cablegate: February 27 Tao Press Briefing: Espionage Charges;

VZCZCXRO8308
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #0693/01 0581029
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271029Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5341
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000693

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ETRD ECON KOLY CH TW
SUBJECT: FEBRUARY 27 TAO PRESS BRIEFING: ESPIONAGE CHARGES;
CROSS-STRAIT TOURISM; CENSORSHIP; "2005 CONSENSUS"; AGRICULTURAL,
MEDICAL AND EDUCATIONAL COOPERATION

Summary
-------

1. Key points at the February 27 Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) press
briefings were:

-- Espionage charges involving a TAO official are being dealt with
"according to the law."

-- The spokesperson denied that China targets websites in Taiwan or
elsewhere for blockage.

-- Taiwan authorities' charges that the Mainland was setting
political obstacles to Mainland tourism of Taiwan were a "distortion
of the facts," with Chen Shui-bian and his "stubborn adherence to
Taiwan independence" to blame for the delay in opening up Taiwan for
Mainland tourism.

-- The [Taiwan] Mainland Affairs Council's recent press release
regarding the so-called "2005 Consensus" is a "complete
fabrication."

-- The spokesperson had no information about a possible merger
between the Taiwan Affairs Office and the Hong Kong and Macao
Affairs Office.

Espionage Charges against TAO Official
--------------------------------------

2. At the February 27 regular Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) press
briefing, TAO spokesman Fan Liqing responded to a question regarding
the recently reported arrest of a TAO official on espionage charges
by saying that "the relevant bureaus will deal with the situation in
accordance with the law."

March 22 Taiwan Election
------------------------

3. In response to a question about a "direct flight timetable"
proposed during the recent presidential election debates in Taiwan,
the spokesperson merely responded that China had "seen reports" of
the proposal. Asked about the DPP's supposed recent "softening"
toward the Mainland in the run-up to the March 22 election, Fan said
Taiwan should "get rid of obstacles" between the two sides, adhere
to the one-China principle and recognize the 1992 consensus. When a
Xinhua reporter asked for comment about Taiwan authorities' charges
that the Mainland was setting political obstacles to mainland
tourism of Taiwan, Fan responded that the charges were a "distortion
of the facts." Fan blamed Chen Shui-bian and his "stubborn
adherence to Taiwan independence" for the delay in opening up Taiwan
for Mainland tourism.

Mainland Website Censorship
---------------------------

4. When asked whether China would unblock Taiwan media websites
before the Olympics, Fan said that China does not target the
websites of specific areas or "create special policies for
individual websites."

"2005 Consensus"
----------------

5. The spokesperson called the [Taiwan] Mainland Affairs Council's
recent press release regarding the so-called "2005 Consensus" a
"complete fabrication" and a "slander against the Mainland." (Note:
The MAC press release reportedly stated that, according to what MAC
calls the "2005 Consensus," both sides in 2005 had agreed to look
past differences regarding the "one-China principle" and resume
negotiations on tourism and charter flights. End note.) Fan also
chastised Chen Shui-bian for ignoring the 1992 Consensus.

Cross-Strait Agricultural Entrepreneurial Zones
--------------------------------------------- --

6. Spokesperson Fan announced that Fujian, Guangdong, Hubei and
Jiangsu would create their own agricultural zones for
entrepreneurial farmers in order to increase cross-Strait
agricultural cooperation and encourage investment from Taiwan.

Physician Credentials for Taiwan Citizens
-----------------------------------------

7. Deputy Director of the General Office of the Ministry of Health
Mao Qunan announced a new program for Taiwan physicians to practice
in the Mainland. Physicians must have more than five years of legal
medical practice in Taiwan, hold a physician's license and currently
be practicing in Taiwan. Mao welcomed Taiwan physicians to come to
the Mainland and noted that the policy was the same for Hong Kong
and Macao.


BEIJING 00000693 002 OF 002


Schooling for Citizens of Taiwan in Mainland
--------------------------------------------

8. Hong Kong, Macao Affairs Office Commissioner of Education Liu
Jianfeng announced a number of adjustments to the policies governing
citizens of Taiwan who attend school on the Mainland. Liu said that
the policies are designed to ensure that children who are Taiwan
citizens are not discriminated against in the Mainland school
system.

Agency Reorganization, Tzu Chi Foundation, Trade Policy
--------------------------------------------- ----------

9. Fan said that she had no information about a possible merger
between the Taiwan Affairs Office and the Hong Kong and Macao
Affairs Office. Fan also confirmed that the PRC has approved an
application by Taiwan's Tzu Chi Foundation, a Buddhist-founded
nonprofit, to operate in the Mainland. Finally, Deputy Director of
the MOFCOM Electrical and Mechanical Technology Industries Zhou
Ruojun discussed future trade policy adjustments aimed at promoting
cross-Strait trade growth and ensuring sustainable use of resources.

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