Cablegate: March 11 Mfa Press Briefing: Xinjiang Terrorism, Safety And
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SUBJECT: March 11 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: XINJIANG TERRORISM, SAFETY AND
CLEAN ENVIRONMENT FOR OLYMPICS, TIBET PROTESTS, U.S.-DPRK GENEVA
MEETINGS, CLIMATE CHANGE PROPOSALS
1. Key points at the March 11, 2008 regular MFA Press Briefing were:
-- China continues to investigate the suspicious liquid found on a
flight from Xinjiang to Beijing and rejects attempts to link
terrorism to a single religion or ethnic group.
-- China is working to ensure safe air quality and a high level of
security during the Olympics.
-- A number of monks were "dealt with according to the law" after
"disturbing social stability" in Lhasa and China will also take
measures to secure its territorial integrity in the face of a
reported planned protest march from India to Tibet.
-- A/S Hill and his DPRK counterparts will meet in Geneva but did
not specify a date.
-- China will consider any climate change proposal in line with the
Kyoto Protocols, the Bali Roadmap, the principle of common but
differentiated responsibility and the UNFCCC.
2. At the March 11 regular MFA press briefing, spokesperson Qin Gang
denied accusations that recent police actions against alleged
terrorists had been fabricated. Qin said that police raided a
terrorist camp on January 27 and discovered weapons. The suspects
confessed to establishing a violent group under the Eastern
Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Qin noted that ETIM is
recognized as a terrorist organization by the UN and called on the
international community to combat the group.
3. Qin also said that the fight against terror should not be linked
to religious or ethnic groups. The Uighur people "love peace and
oppose extremist and splittist forces." Qin accused overseas Uighur
activist Rebiya Kadeer of "deliberately linking China's fight
against terror to the Uighur people" and called these efforts
"sabotage." Kadeer and people like her are trying to "make
conflicts between ethnic groups," something which will be "met with
the stern opposition of the Uighur people." Kadeer and people like
her "only represent a small handful of terrorist forces."
4. When asked for clarification specifically about the recent
reports of terrorist activity on a flight from Xinjiang to Beijing,
Qin confirmed that a China Southern flight landed in Lanzhou when a
suspicious liquid was discovered. The flight then continued to
Beijing. Relevant authorities are investigating the incident, said
Olympics Pollution and Security
3. Responding to a question about Haile Gebresalassie's announcement
that he will not participate in the marathon event at the Beijing
Olympics, Qin said that Beijing is working to improve its
environment not only in preparation for the Olympics but also to
improve the lives of its residents. Qin noted that 68 percent of
last year was rated as "blue sky" and that Beijing was preparing to
enact temporary measures during the Olympics to ensure that air
quality reaches the level suggested by the WHO.
4. Spokesman Qin also said that China attaches great importance to
security during the Olympics, has established a command center and
has promulgated security plans. China is safe, Qin said, but will
not spare any effort in security.
5. When asked whether the approaching Olympics would affect how
China handled dissidents, Qin responded saying that China would deal
with cases according to law regardless of the Olympics. Qin said
that he had noticed that recently foreign media were paying extra
attention to "individual cases."
Splittist Activities in Tibet
6. Qin confirmed that a group of "ignorant monks abetted by some
people" conducted "illegal activities aimed at upsetting social
stability" in Lhasa on the afternoon of March 10. These monks were
"dealt with in accordance with the law." Qin said that China would
continue to combat "illegal activities."
7. Regarding a march reportedly planned from India to Tibet in
protest of Chinese occupation of Tibet, Qin noted that India has
promised not to recognize the Tibetan government in exile and that
China would "protect its territorial integrity."
8. Qin added that Tibet has been a part of China "since ancient
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times" and no country has ever accepted Tibet as a separate country.
"Old Tibet" was "feudal and backwards" and has been "destroyed for
good." Qin said that the Dhali Lhama has distorted facts and should
take actions to help the Tibetan people and "do something for them
in his lifetime."
U.S., DPRK Envoys Meet in Geneva
6. Qin reported that A/S Christopher Hill will meet with his DPRK
counterpart in Geneva. Qin said that China hopes the talks will be
successful and that the parties "make joint efforts to push
forward." He added that he was not aware of reports that the DPRK
negotiator was in Beijing.
Climate Change Proposals
7. In response to questions about China's support for caps on carbon
emissions, Qin said that China would keep an open mind toward any
proposal which was in line with the Kyoto Protocols, the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the
principle of common but differentiated responsibility and the Bali
Roadmap. Qin said that developed countries should take the lead in
combating climate change and should provide developing countries
with financial and technical support. Developing countries will
"make efforts according to their abilities," said Qin.
Human Rights Watch, G20, Tang Wei
8. Responding to a question regarding Human Rights Watch's
accusations regarding abuses of migrant workers, Qin responded by
saying that Human Rights Watch "has a problem with its eyes" and
"needs to correct its glasses." Qin asked reporters not to ask him
a question about Human Rights Watch ever again. Qin said that Xie
Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform
Commission, would be attending the upcoming NDRC G20 meeting in
Japan. Finally, Qin said that he had no information about reported
banning of actress Tang Wei from mainland media and that reporters
should contact another department.