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Cablegate: Prc Special Envoy Liu Guijin On Chinese Policy

VZCZCXRO8164
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #0845/01 0670934
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 070934Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5542
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 3312
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 4279
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA IMMEDIATE 0023
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM IMMEDIATE 0206
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1978

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 000845

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV KPKO MARR UNSC SU CH
SUBJECT: PRC SPECIAL ENVOY LIU GUIJIN ON CHINESE POLICY
TOWARD DARFUR

Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: Solving the situation in Darfur requires
pressure from the international community on both the
Government of Sudan and rebel forces, Chinese Special Envoy
for Darfur Liu Guijin said in a March 7 briefing for
diplomats and the press on his February 21-March 6 trip to
the UK, France, Chad and Sudan. Rebel forces in Darfur seek
an "everlasting war" situation to increase their influence,
he said. Contrary to negative press reporting, the
Government of Sudan has taken steps to overcome technical
difficulties in UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
deployment, but issues related to Troop Contributing
Countries and helicopters remain outstanding. China is not
the largest supplier of arms to Africa and follows strict
policies regarding who is eligible to purchase arms. Linking
arms sales to the Olympics is "not fair." China has made
many constructive contributions to Darfur, including in the
areas of water supply, power stations, temporary schools and
homes, and financial donations to the UN and AU. China is
providing engineers to Darfur, but does not plan to provide
combat troops at this time. China's position on Darfur is
fundamentally the same as that of Western nations; there are
differences only in the means and priorities to go about
achieving the goals of peace and stability in the region, Liu
argued. End Summary.

2. (U) Chinese Special Envoy for Darfur Liu Guijin briefed
Beijing-based journalists and diplomats March 7, following
his just-completed trip to the UK, Sudan, Chad and France.

Strategy for Solving Darfur Problem
-----------------------------------

3. (U) Liu said that to reach a solution in Darfur, the
international community must:

-- remember that Darfur is part of Sudan's sovereign
territory;
-- convince rebels to cooperate, negotiate and stop attacking
government troops;
-- increase coordination between and among the Sudanese
government, the rebels, and peacekeepers to overcome
remaining technical obstacles to UNAMID deployment;
-- pay more attention to the nations surrounding Sudan,
because rebel groups are spread across borders; and
-- make coherent efforts and not send the wrong message to
rebels.

Liu added that the Sudanese Government should "be more
sincere" in solving outstanding issues and be more receptive
to outside suggestions. The Sudanese government should
particularly take steps to decrease casualties in the region,
he said.

Deteriorating Western Darfur: Blame the Rebels
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (U) Liu Guijin blamed the current deterioration of the
security situation in western Darfur on the rebels. In
December 2007, Liu said, rebels began attacking government
troops, resulting in retaliation that led to casualties. Liu
said he expressed to Sudanese President Bashir Chinese
concerns regarding the deteriorating security situation in
western Darfur and subsequent loss of life in the region.
Liu said the security situation is extremely complicated and
urged the international community to put pressure on all
parties to end the violence. China has been using its
influence to improve the situation, but rebel groups feel
they gain influence by creating an "everlasting war"
situation. To solve the situation, all parties should
participate in a political solution.

Technical Delays: Some Solved . . .
-----------------------------------

5. (U) Liu said many technical problems are delaying
deployment of UNAMID troops, but that many previous problems
have now been solved. Liu cited the February signing of a
Status of Forces Agreement; clearance for night flights; new
land-use rights, which the Sudanese Government had
systematically purchased from local tribes and granted to
UNAMID; smoother customs clearance for items related to
peacekeeping; and better access for peacekeeping personnel.

BEIJING 00000845 002 OF 003

. . . But Some Still Outstanding
--------------------------------

6. (SBU) Liu said two issues remain to be solved to speed
troop deployment. He said Khartoum must be more flexible on
Troop Contributing Countries (TCC) and allow Thai and Nepali
soldiers to participate. Liu said if Khartoum is more
flexible, peacekeeping forces will have more leeway should
some African troops not meet necessary standards. In
addition, peacekeeping forces still need helicopters, Liu
said. (Note: At this point, Liu lost his temper, shouting
that Sudan had in fact taken many steps to aid UNAMID
deployment and that journalists should be more professional
and report in a balanced and honest way.)

Allegations of Chinese Arms Sales
---------------------------------

7. (SBU) Liu said China has strict standards on arms sales.
China will only sell arms to States, not to non-State actors
or liberation movements, limits the quantities of arms sold
and strictly checks end-users to ensure that arms are not
passed to third parties. Conceding that some Chinese weapons
had been found in Darfur, he compared them to the
approximately 190,000 U.S.-manufactured arms he said are in
the hands of Iraqi insurgents. He said China has not accused
the U.S. Government of supplying those arms to Iraqi
insurgents, but they prove that a government cannot guarantee
arms will not end up in the hands of rebels. Liu also cited
NGO reports that the United States is the single largest
supplier of arms to Africa. According to these reports,
China supplied only three percent of all arms sales to the
continent of Africa, behind the United States, the UK, Russia
and Germany. (Note: Liu again lost his temper when
discussing arms sales, shouting that linking arms sales to
the Olympics is "not fair.")

China's Aid to Darfur
---------------------

8. (U) Asked what specific projects China had undertaken to
improve the situation in Darfur, Liu said that he visited a
Chinese water supply project to drill 85 wells to provide
clean drinking water in southern Sudan. He said the Chinese
government also provided about 20 small power stations and
donated about USD 11 million for ambulances and land rovers.
Chinese engineers, the first non-African troops to arrive in
Darfur, have built makeshift houses and schools and are
preparing the way for other troops to arrive. The second
tranche of Chinese engineers will deploy soon, once the UN
gives orders for them to do so, Liu said. China has always
supported the UN and African Union in Darfur and has
contributed USD 500 thousand to their efforts.

China's Position the Same as Western Countries
--------------------------------------------- -

9. (U) China's position in Darfur is fundamentally the same
as that of Western nations, Liu said. China agrees on the
need to speed deployment of the UNAMID force, to reach a
political solution and to unite the international community
to exert equal pressure on the Sudanese Government and rebel
forces. China differs with Western nations only on the means
of implementing these goals. China has been working to
create a positive environment of mutual understanding so that
all parties can work constructively together, despite
differences on modalities.

Engineers, Not Combat Troops
----------------------------

10. (U) Asked about an alleged statement by Secretary Rice
that China is ready to provide combat troops in Darfur, Liu
said that he is unaware of any such plans. China is focusing
on deploying the remaining engineers to China to fulfill
previously stated commitments.

Darfur: Is It Genocide?
-----------------------

11. (U) Asked about the term "genocide" in Darfur, including
its use in the phrase "Genocide Olympics," Liu said the
situation in Darfur is so undeniably severe that there is no

BEIJING 00000845 003 OF 003


need to debate semantics. China is saddened by the loss of
life and gives considerable amounts of humanitarian
assistance to the region. As for the term "Genocide
Olympics," China welcomes advice, as well as constructive
comments or criticism of its policies. However, China
opposes groups that criticize China with the sole aim of
tarnishing China's image. China is, however, willing to hold
dialogues with critics, and Liu noted that he met the "Save
Darfur" Coalition during his last trip to the United States.

Meeting with Rebels
-------------------

12. (U) Liu said China does not have formal contact with
rebel groups, but he met some rebels engaged in the political
peace process, including Minni Minnawi of the Sudanese
Liberation Movement (SLM), who now works as Senior Assistant
to Sudanese President Bashir. In southern Darfur, Liu met
leaders from the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement
(SPLM), the SLM and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
In these meetings, he aimed to convey China's desire to be
friends with all of the Sudanese people.

House Resolution: No Olympic Travel
-----------------------------------

13. (U) Responding to a question on a report of a proposed
U.S. Congressional resolution to bar funding for U.S.
Government travel to the Olympics aside from that of
President Bush, Liu reminded journalists that politicization
is not in keeping with the spirit of the Olympics. He quoted
the German Olympic Committee President as saying "sports
should be a bridge to connect people." The international
community understands that China is being constructive in
Darfur, and any connection of Darfur t the Olympics is
unreasonable. People who lik problems in UNAMID deployment
to the Olympics are only trying to defame China, Liu
concluded.
RANDT

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