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Cablegate: March 13 Mfa Press Briefing: Tibet Protests,

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000929

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SUBJECT: March 13 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TIBET PROTESTS,

1. Key points at the March 13, 2008 regular MFA Press Briefing were:


-- In recent days a few monks in Lhasa have made "a disturbance" and
tried to sow political unrest. China resolutely opposes the
attempts of the "Dalai group" to split China and, thanks to efforts
by the local government, "the situation has been stabilized."

-- China opposes the United States' issuance of the Human Rights
report and its "point(ing) fingers" at other countries' human rights
records while never reflecting on its own record. The Information
Office of the State Council has issued its own human rights report
to let others know that the United States also has human rights
issues.

-- China is earnest and responsible in its adherence to its
regulations regarding foreign journalists and relevant authorities
have made tremendous efforts in carrying them out. It is undeniable
that there are some problems with the implementation and enforcement
of the regulations, but both the authorities and the journalists
need to do a better job.

-- The Ministry of Public Security will send a team of poisoning
experts and investigators to Japan for interviews with Japanese
police on the dumpling poisoning case and for "relevant tests."

Tibet Protests
--------------

2. At the March 13 regular MFA press briefing, spokesperson Qin Gang
said that in recent days a few monks in Lhasa had made "a
disturbance" and tried to sow political unrest. He said the
disturbance was a political scheme by the "Dalai group" and that the
monks involved were attempting to split China and ruin the normal,
peaceful and harmonious lives of the Tibetan people. Thanks to the
efforts of the local government and the Democratic Administration
Commission of the local temple, he said, "the situation has been
stabilized."

3. Qin stressed that Tibet began democratic reform forty-nine years
ago when millions of serfs were liberated. Tibet has witnessed
great changes and it is the common aspiration of the Tibetan people
to safeguard national unification, ethnic solidarity and social
harmony. The "scheme" of the "Dalai group" is doomed because the
development of Tibet cannot be blocked by any forces. The Chinese
government and people's determination to safeguard territorial
integrity is resolute, he said.

4. Asked about Tibetan protests in India, Qin reiterated that China
resolutely opposes the "Dalai group's" efforts to engage in
activities to separate China and ruin ethnic solidarity. No
countries have recognized Tibet as an independent country and Tibet
has been an inalienable part of China since ancient times. This
stance is reflected in a promise made by the Indian government to
China in which Indian officials said they would never support the
"Dalai group's" separatist activities. He added that China hopes
India will proceed in the interest of bilateral relations and honor
its commitments to China.

5. In a follow-up answer, Qin acknowledged that there are some
Tibetans that are trying to cross the border, but that China is
resolutely opposed to their separatist activities. He said that
Tibetans can come back to China if they admit that Tibet is part of
China and that they are citizens of China.

Dueling Human Rights Reports
----------------------------

6. China resolutely opposes the United States' issuance of its
annual Human Rights report and its "point(ing) fingers" at other
countries' human rights records while never reflecting on its own
record. "If it cannot rectify itself how can it rectify others?"
The United States has no right to issue reports accusing others, he
said. Qin said the Information Office of the State Council has
issued its own human rights report to let others know that the
United States also has human rights problems. It is natural for
countries to have some human rights problems, but countries should
have dialogue and communication on the basis of equality and mutual
respect to mend differences. He stated that China resolutely opposes
countries' exerting pressure and interfering in other countries'
internal affairs in the name of human rights.

Rights of Foreign Journalists
-----------------------------

7. Asked about the current environment in China for foreign
journalists, Qin said that the regulations on the foreign media
issued on January 1, 2007 honor Beijing's commitment to the
Olympics. China is earnest and responsible in its adherence to
these regulations and relevant authorities have made tremendous
efforts in carrying them out. Any journalist without bias can see
that in recent years the environment for foreign reporters in China

BEIJING 00000929 002 OF 002


is friendlier and the availability of services and facilities is
growing. He characterized the general situation for the foreign
media as "good."

8. Qin said it is undeniable that there are some problems with the
implementation and enforcement of the regulations. China is a big
country with a big population and different localities have
different conditions. Better efforts from local governments are
necessary, he said. However, China also believes that journalists
involved in some cases should reflect on their own conduct. Some
journalists don't respect people being interviewed, force people to
be interviewed or distort facts. To better implement the
regulations, create a better environment for foreign journalists and
ensure that Chinese citizens remain willing to be interviewed by
foreign reporters, the Chinese government should do a better job and
journalists should reflect on themselves and doa better job as
well.

Dumpling Investgation
----------------------

9. After consltations between Chinese and Japanese police agncies,
the Ministry of Public Security will send a team of poisoning
experts and investigators to Japan for interviews with Japanese
police on the investigation of the poisoned dumpling case and for
"relevant tests." Qin said the trip is a good opportunity for
police in the two countries to move ahead with the investigation,
find out the truth and make a responsible assessment to the people
and enterprises of the two countries.

South China Sea Negotiations
----------------------------

10. Asked if China agrees with a Japanese report calling for the
resolution of the South China Sea issue in international courts, Qin
said that China's position on the South China Sea is solidly based
on international law. He said according to the UN Convention on the
Law of the Sea China and Japan should solve their disputes through
negotiations and consultations. Both governments agree that it is a
complicated issue that cannot be solved overnight and requires
patience and compromise from both sides.

Upcoming Visits
---------------

11. Qin announced a March 19-20 visit by Peruvian President Alan
Garcia and said Garcia will meet with Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu
Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, CPC member Li Changchun and other
central government leaders. He will exchange views on bilateral
relations as well as regional and international issues of common
interest. Qin characterized Peru as a good friend and partner of
China.

12. Qin also announced a March 20-22 visit by South Korean Foreign
Minister Yu Myung Hwan, saying that he would meet with FM Yang
Jiechi and "other state leaders." Asked if President Hu would be
traveling to Japan on May 8, Qin said that Foreign Ministries on
both sides are still having active consultations regarding the visit
and will release the relevant information in due course.

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