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Cablegate: March 4 Mfa Press Briefing: Pentagon Report On Prc

VZCZCXYZ2225
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBJ #0791/01 0641139
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041139Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5466
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BEIJING 000791

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ETRD CH JA RS IR KN

SUBJECT: MARCH 4 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: PENTAGON REPORT ON PRC
MILITARY, IRAN SANCTIONS, SIX-PARTY TALKS, U.S.-CHINA MILITARY
HOTLINE, PLA BUDGET, RUSSIA, JAPAN DUMPLING CASE

1. Key points at the March 4, 2008 MFA Press Briefing were:

-- China dismissed the Pentagon report on the Chinese military as "a
serious distortion of facts" and accused the United States of
adopting a "Cold War mentality."

-- China does not encourage Chinese hackers to launch cyber-attacks
on U.S. networks.

-- China supported UN Security Council Resolution 1803 on Iran "not
to punish" Tehran but to facilitate negotiations. The sanctions
will not affect China-Iran trade.

-- Communications between any of the Six-Party states has not been
cut-off and remain "favorable."

-- China is looking forward to working with Russian President
Medvedev to move bilateral relations to a "new stage."

China is "Ready to Work" with Russia
-------------------------------------

2. During the March 4 regular MFA press briefing, spokesperson Qin
Gang began by saying China believes under the leadership of
President Medvedev Russia will attain "even greater achievements."
Qin said China is ready to work with Russia to promote their
strategic partnership and move bilateral relations to a "new
stage."

Annual Pentagon Report on PRC Military
--------------------------------------

3. When asked to comment on the recently released annual Department
of Defense report to Congress on the Chinese military, Qin said the
Chinese Government is "resolutely against it" and characterized the
report as "a serious distortion of facts." Qin said the report
attempts to "interfere in China's internal affairs" and the United
States should "drop the Cold War mentality" as well as "stop sending
weapons to Taiwan."

4. When asked whether the Chinese Government and the People's
Liberation Army (PLA) encourage Chinese civilians to hack into U.S.
networks like the Pentagon, Qin dismissed the claim as "groundless."
"I assure you China would never do that kind of thing," he stated.

PLA Budget Growth
-----------------

5. Qin said the PLA's budget is "in line with China's national
development." China is pursuing a path of peaceful development,
promotes regional stability and is not a threat. China is opposed
to "some countries' advocacy" of a "so-called China threat" because
it interferes with China's internal affairs and is not good for
bilateral relations.

U.S.-China Military Hotline
---------------------------

6. When asked who in the Chinese Government would be responsible for
answering the U.S.-China military hotline, Qin said "who" is not
important, but "mentality" is. If people do not drop their "Cold
War mentality," hotlines will not help. China hopes to continue
building stronger U.S.-China military cooperation and mutual trust.
When asked when the U.S.-China military hotline would become
operational, Qin sad this was still being discussed.
UN Security Council Sanctions on Iran
------------------------------------

7. Qin said China believes the purpose of UN Security Council
Resolution 1803 on Iran is not to punish Tehran but to activate a
new round of diplomatic negotiations. China hopes Iran will "take
this seriously." In response to a question on the sanction's impact
on China-Iran trade, Qin said bilateral trade relations have nothing
to do with Iran's nuclear programs or the UNSC resolution and will
not be affected.

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

8. When asked about China's plans to arrange discussions between the
United States and North Korea last week, Qin confirmed that
Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill and Vice Foreign Minister Wu
Dawei met on March 1 to discuss the Six-Party Talks. Qin said that
all parties have maintained communication and consultations in
various forms. He said communications have not been cut-off amongst
any of the parties and remain "favorable."

China-Japan Dumpling Issue, Hu's Visit Not Postponed
--------------------------------------------- -------


9. Qin said China is approaching the poisoned dumpling investigation
with a "highly responsible attitude." The investigation will be
properly handled through bilateral cooperation. China urges all
parties involved to stay "objective and rational" and respect
"scientific and objective" conclusions. Qin said President Hu's
planned visit to Japan has not been postponed.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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