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Cablegate: April 1 Mfa Press Briefing: Tibet Protests, Olympics, Hu

VZCZCXRO9978
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1237/01 0921110
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011110Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6231
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001237

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PTER KOLY CH TW JP KS EK TC NZ

SUBJECT: April 1 MFA Press Briefing: Tibet Protests, Olympics, Hu
Japan Visit, Internet Freedom, Secretary Paulson's China Trip,
Equatorial Guinea Strike


1. Key points at the April 1 MFA Press Briefing were:

-- The Dalai Lama continues to incite unrest and undermine the
Olympic Games.

-- Foreign officials who boycott the Olympic Games are "flattering
themselves" and undermining their country's interest.

-- China blocks websites which contain illegal material, but will
live up to its Olympic obligations.

-- President Hu Jintao's Japan trip is still in the planning
stages.

-- President Hu and Vice Premier Wang Qishan will discuss bilateral
relations, SED and other issues with Treasury Secretary Paulson.

-- China will send a working group to Equatorial Guinea to deal with
the aftermath of a recent labor strike there.

Dalai Lama Condemned
---------------------

2. At the April 1, 2008 regular MFA press briefing, MFA Spokesperson
Jiang Yu was asked to respond to the Dalai Lama's recent open letter
to the Chinese people. Jiang said that the Dalai Lama was trying to
shake off his responsibility for the March 14 riots. Jiang said
that though the Dalai Lama says he wants contact with Chinese
leaders, he continues to cause unrest and undermine the Olympic
Games. Jiang reiterated China's demand that the Dalai Lama stop his
violent activities, stop undermining the Olympics and stop his
"splittist" activities. When asked to react to the Dalai Lama's
planned trip to Japan, Jiang stated that China opposes foreign
countries' support of the Dalai Lama.

3. When asked when reporters would be allowed to Tibet, Jiang
emphasized that China wanted the area to be open as it had been
before the March 14 incident, however the "smashing, burning and
looting" has made this impossible. Jiang referred questions
regarding specific events in Lhasa, the reported deployment of PLA
troops to Tibet and evidence described as proving the Dalai Lama's
involvement in the March 14 riots to a Ministry of Public Security
press conference Jiang said would take place later in the day on
April 1.

4. In response to a question about a forthcoming Amnesty
International report which will cover Tibet, Jiang said the
organization was prejudiced against China and that any attempt to
threaten China would not succeed. China cannot stop implementing
the law because the Olympics are coming, said Jiang.

Olympic Fallout of Tibet Events, Olympic Internet Freedom
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. Jiang emphasized that those foreign officials who choose not to
attend the Beijing Olympics would simply be "flattering themselves"
and would undermine the interests of their own countries. The
Olympics are a sporting event, not a political forum, said Jiang.
When asked what had changed since China's boycott of the 1980 Moscow
Olympics, Jiang said that China has "always been opposed to Olympic
boycotts for any reason." Regarding the torch relay, Jiang said
that any disruption of Olympic torch events around the world would
be a provocation against the Olympic spirit.

6. Responding to a question about International Olympic Committee
Coordinating Commission Vice Chairman Kevan Gosper's statements that
China should not block Internet sites during the Olympic Games,
Jiang said that China will follow its commitments during the Games.
Jiang said that China manages the Internet to promote its healthy
development in a way "similar to many other countries." When
pressed repeatedly on whether there would be access to foreign media
sites, Jiang said that China blocks some sites which contain illegal
information. What constitutes illegal information is stipulated
clearly in China's laws, said Jiang.

Hu Visit to Japan Still in Planning Stage
-----------------------------------------

7. Jiang refused to confirm Hu Jintao's visit to Japan on May 6
saying the details are still being worked out. Jiang said that
China attaches great importance to the trip and hopes the talks will
be used to map out an improvement in bilateral relations and ensure
long-term, stable and healthy development of ties. When asked
whether Hu would stop in the Republic of Korea, Jiang said that
China and the ROK are friendly neighbors and that China is willing
to continue high level exchanges. Regarding visits between the top
leaders of the ROK and China, China will release "relevant
information when it becomes available."

Paulson Trip to China

BEIJING 00001237 002 OF 002


---------------------

8. Jiang confirmed that Secretary Paulson will visit China from
April 2-3 and discuss bilateral relations, the Strategic Economic
Dialogue and other issues with President Hu Jintao and Vice Premier
Wang Qishan. China and the United States are still finalizing the
details of the next round of the Strategic Economic Dialogue, but
China hopes that the two countries will work to achieve a mutual
win-win and promote a healthy, stable development of trade and the
economy.

Strike in Equatorial Guinea
----------------------------

9. Jiang said that nearly 100 workers at a Chinese company in
Equatorial Guinea disregarded local laws and held a strike. Two
Chinese citizens died and four were injured. China has made "solemn
representations" to Equatorial Guinea and requested an
investigation. Equatorial Guinea has expressed their regret and is
ready to work with China to "properly handle the case." A Chinese
working group will leave for Equatorial Guinea to deal with the
case, said Jiang.

Kitty Hawk, Spy Confession, UAE Prime Minister Visit, Bush-Hu Phone
Conversation Discrepancy, New Zealand Prime Minister to Visit China
--------------------------------------------- -------

11. Jiang said that China has approved the Kitty Hawk port call to
Hong Kong in early April. Jiang called the repeated accusations of
Chinese spying on the United States "totally groundless" and said
that such accusations are used to stir up a "China threat theory."
China will release information about any deals signed during United
Arab Emirates Prime Minister Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum's visit
after the conclusion of his trip. Jiang said she would look into
accusations that China's English language and the United States'
English language reports of the recent President Bush-Hu phone
conversation contained discrepancies. Finally, Jiang announced that
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will visit China from April
6-8.

RANDT

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