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Cablegate: April 10 Mfa Press Briefing: Dalai Lama, Olympic Torch,

VZCZCXRO8564
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1355/01 1011158
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101158Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6403
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001355

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PTER CH AS FR IR TW IN
SUBJECT: April 10 MFA Press Briefing: Dalai Lama, Olympic Torch,
North Korea Nuclear Talks, Australian Prime Minister


1 Key points at the April 10 MFA Press Briefing were:

-- China has dealt with the Dalai Lama wth patience and restraint,
but the Dalai Lamas actions have undermined the basis for talk.

-- Recent protests by monks in Gansu Province are an indication that
the monks do have freedom of speech.

-- An investigation is needed into attacks on Chinese diplomatic
missions abroad.

-- The Olympic torch was welcomed in San Francisco by locals and
patriotic overseas Chinese.

-- The torch relay will go on and not be stopped by any forces.

-- On the North Korea nuclear issue, some progress has been made on
declaration-related issues and conditions are getting "more mature"
for talks between the chief negotiators.

Dalai Lama Condemned, Situation in Tibetan Regions
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. At the April 10, 2008 regular MFA press briefing, MFA
spokesperson Jiang Yu said China hopes all countries with friendly
relations with China will not support the Dalai Lama's separatism.
Jiang emphasized that China has exercised "patience and restraint,"
regarding the Dalai Lama, but his recent actions have "undermined
the basis for talks." Jiang reiterated that China is willing to
speak with the Dalai Lama if he gives up separatism and criminal
violence and stops undermining the Olympics. Regarding the Dalai
Lama's statements on peace, Jiang said that it is "not important
what he says -- his rhetoric of peace is just a lie to deceive the
world." The issues with the Dalai Lama are not religious or ethnic
in nature, but related to sovereignty, said Jiang.

3. Jiang said recent Tibet incidents were handled with restraint and
that 130 governments have announced their support for the Chinese
Government's actions. The recent protests during a tour by
journalists of Labrang Monastery in Xiahe demonstrated that there is
freedom of expression in China, said Jiang. The monks all have
legally guaranteed rights to "survival, religious beliefs and
development." The handful of monks who spoke out represent a small
portion of the 1000 monks who inhabit that monastery. Trips for
journalists and diplomats were organized to satisfy the demand for
information about Tibet, and China hopes the situation can return to
normal soon, said Jiang.

4. Regarding calls for an independent investigation, Jiang said that
violent acts and riots occur frequently in other countries but there
are not independent investigations. The investigation that is
needed is into the many attacks on China's diplomatic missions.
Jiang said she would respond officially later to the U.S. House of
Representatives resolution criticizing China's handling of the Tibet
issue.

5. As to whether or not foreigners will be allowed into Tibet
starting on May 1 as previously suggested, Jiang told reporters to
check with the local government in Tibet. Asked whether foreign
reporters are currently allowed in Yunnan, Qinghai or Gansu, Jiang
said some of the regions in these provinces may be closed because of
violence, but journalists should contact local governments for more
specific information.

Olympic Boycotts, Torch Relay Protests
--------------------------------------------- -

6. Jiang said that she had not seen reports that Nicolas Sarkozy
would not attend the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony unless China
began a dialogue with the Dalai Lama. In response to a question
about Gordon Brown's attendance, Jiang said Brown will attend the
closing ceremony and that Xinhua's report that he would attend the
opening ceremony is purely an error by Xinhua, not the Chinese
Government. The Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee will warmly
welcome all invited guests. Whether foreign politicians attend or
not is between that politician and his local Olympic committee.

7. The torch relay in San Francisco was welcomed by patriotic
overseas Chinese and San Francisco locals, said Jiang. The relay
will "spread the Olympic spirit" around the world and will not be
stopped by "any forces." Regarding the Chinese flame escorts, Jiang
said they are not law enforcement officials and their presence was
requested by the Olympic Committees of the countries involved.
China is satisfied with the security preparations in Australia and
India for the torch relay there.

8. Jiang had not heard remarks from International Olympic Committee
Chairman Jacques Rogge regarding China's need for "moral engagement"
but suggested that these comments were possibly exaggerated or
distorted.

A/S Hill Meetings in Beijing

BEIJING 00001355 002 OF 002


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

9. The spokesperson said that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met
yesterday with relevant officials from the DPRK and the United
States about their bilateral meetings in Singapore. Jiang said the
United States and North Korea made some progress on
declaration-related issues. All parties agreed the results were
positive and conducive to pressing ahead with the Six-Party Talks.
China believes the conditions for a meeting of the chief negotiators
is becoming "more mature."

Australian Prime Minister Meets Wen Jiabao
------------------------------------------

10. During Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's conversations with
Premier Wen Jiabao, Rudd expressed understanding over Tibet, his
willingness to be a long-term partner of China and his support for
the one China policy and the Beijing Olympics. Wen expanded on
China's policy towards Taiwan and briefed Rudd on the development of
Tibet. China and Australia released a joint statement on Climate
change which reaffirmed their commitment to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, said
Jiang.

Iran Nuclear Issue, Iraq Invasion Anniversary, Visits
--------------------------------------------- ---------

11. P-5 plus 1 representatives will meet to discuss the Iran nuclear
issue in Shanghai. Asked about the fifth anniversary of the
invasion of Iraq, Jiang said China believes the issue should be
resolved under the relevant United Nations resolutions. China hopes
the country returns to stability soon. Jiang announced that Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi will visit Japan April 12-20 and Thai Foreign
Minister Noppadon Pattama will visit China April 14-15.

RANDT

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