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Cablegate: April 15 Mfa Press Briefing: Torch Relay, Dalai

VZCZCXRO7726
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1416/01 1061006
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151006Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6488
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 1903
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU IMMEDIATE 3820
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 4527

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 001416

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SOCI PHUM CH JA
SUBJECT: APRIL 15 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TORCH RELAY, DALAI
LAMA, CARREFOUR BOYCOTT, ETC.

1. Key points at the regular April 15 MFA press briefing:

-- Past successful legs of the Olympic Torch Relay have come
about through cooperation with the relevant countries; any
disruptions in future legs of the torch run will show the
"true nature" of Tibetan separatist forces. China hopes that
other countries can understand that the "torch escorts" are
merely seeking to safeguard the "safety, purity and dignity"
of the Olympic Games.

-- The barriers for dialogue with the Dalai Lama are on his
side, rather than on the Chinese Government's side.

-- The violent acts in Lhasa were masterminded by the "Dalai
Clique." China hopes that other nations can recognize the
true nature of the Dalai Lama and not support him by holding
meetings or discussions with him.

-- Calls for a boycott of French brands and companies
following the disrupted Paris Torch Relay "have reason"
behind them. China hopes that France can make efforts to
repair the relationship.

-- China hopes to have dialogue on a variety of topics to
help solve problems through dialogue during the EU3-plus-3
(P5-plus-1) meeting in Shanghai. Media access has been
arranged for the relevant countries.

-- China condemns CNN commentator Jack Cafferty's comments
that the Chinese people are "goons and thugs."

-- China will safeguard journalists' freedom to report within
the bounds of Chinese law. Journalists should respect
Chinese law and increase mutual trust by reporting in a fair
and balanced manner.

-- China maintains a "prudent attitude" towards the death
penalty, which is only applied in a small number of cases to
people who have committed serious crimes.

-- VISITORS: EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will
visit China April 24-26. South African Foreign Minister Dr.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will visit China April 19-26.

Torch Run: Success Comes From Cooperation
-----------------------------------------

2. At the regularly-scheduled MFA press briefing April 15,
MFA Spokesperson Jiang Yu said that the Olympic Torch Relay
has been smooth, and is a reflection of the hopes and
aspirations of the people who support the Olympics.
Regarding the upcoming India portion of the relay, Jiang said
that prior successes have been achieved through cooperation
with the relevant parties, and cooperation in India will
likewise result in success. Should there be any disruption,
she added, it will show "the true nature of the separatists."
Asked about Japan and other nations denying entry to the
"torch escorts," Jiang said that the practice of escorting
the torch is in keeping with past Olympic Games. The torch
escorts are all volunteers, are not law enforcement
officials, and are merely seeking to safeguard the "safety,
purity and dignity" of the Olympic Games. China hopes that
all countries can understand this and cooperate. Asked a
follow-up question regarding India's preparation for the
torch relay, Jiang said that there has been close
cooperation, and China hopes that India takes effective
measures.

Dalai Lama Dialogue: Barrier Is On His Side
-------------------------------------------

3. China has exerted "maximum patience" in dealing with the
Dalai Lama, Jiang said, and the barrir to dialogue is on his
side rather than on te Chinese Government's side. Jiang
expressedhope that the Dalai Lama can "give up his sabotage
and take concrete actions." Jiang was unwilling to confirm
details of a March 19 letter sent by the Dalai Lama to Hu
Jintao asking for the resumption of dialogue, saying only
that she hadn't heard of it.

Dalai Lama Meetings
-------------------

4. Asked about potential meetings between the Dalai Lama and
representatives from other nations, including U.S. Under
Secretary Paula Dobriansky, Jiang said that the violent acts

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in Lhasa were clearly masterminded by the "Dalai Clique," and
as such she expressed hope that other nations can "make a
distinction between right and wrong" and recognize the true

BEIJING 00001416 002 OF 003


nature of the Dalai Lama. Noting that the Dalai Lama is a
splittist seeking to undermine national unity, Jiang
expressed hope that the United States and other nations would
not support him.

Carrefour Boycott: Negative sentiments "have reason"
--------------------------------------------- -------

5. Asked about calls for a boycott of Carrefour department
stores and other French brands and companies following the
disruption of the Olympic Torch Relay in Paris, Jiang said
that the Chinese people have been expressing their views and
sentiments within the bounds of the law, and that all of
these sentiments "have reason" behind them. Noting that
friendship between two countries requires that both sides
make joint efforts, she said that other countries cannot do
things that are unacceptable to Chinese people and expressed
hope that the French would "cherish" their relations with
China and make good efforts to repair the relationship.

6. The purpose of the EU 3-plus-3 (P5-plus-1) Political
Directors meeting on Iran in Shanghai is to implement the
joint statement agreed upon in March. China hopes to have in
depth discussion on a variety of topics to find a way to
solve the current problems through dialogue. Asked a follow
up question regarding media access to the meeting, Jiang said
that arrangements have been made with the media
representatives from the relevant countries, and that further
questions should be directed to the U.S. press
representatives.

Government Hand in Pro-China Demonstrations?
--------------------------------------------

7. Asked whether overseas demonstrations showing support of
China were orchestrated by Chinese embassies abroad, Jiang
said that demonstrations to oppose separatism and anti-China
activities "express their just voice." She then asked, "Do
you think these need to be organized by the Chinese
Government?"

CNN Comments were "Shocking"
----------------------------

8. China was shocked by comments from CNN commentator Jack
Cafferty that the Chinese are "goons and thugs," and condemns
these "vicious remarks." Cafferty "used his microphone to
insult the Chinese people," which violate both journalist and
human ethics and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.
She solemnly requested that he take back his remarks and
apologize.

Protecting the Freedom of Reporters
-----------------------------------

9. Asked if journalists would be granted free access to Tibet
after May 1, Jiang noted that in the past access to Tibet
only required "a few formalities," and that the current
restrictions stem from the violent criminal acts in the area.
Journalists should keep close contact with the relevant
authorities within the Tibetan Autonomous Region regarding
travel to Tibet. Asked a more general question regarding
non-interference with journalists, Jiang responded that China
will protect the interests of journalists within keeping with
the law. She expressed hope, however, that journalists will
abide by Chinese law, and will increase mutual trust by
reporting in a fair and balanced manner.

Walkout in Ireland
------------------

10. Asked whether it was appropriate for the Chinese
Ambassador to Ireland to walk out of the Green Party
Conference when Irish Environment Minister and party leader
John Gormley raised the subject of Tibet, Jiang said that
Sino-Irish relations are enjoying good momentum, with
multiple recent exchanges of high level visitors. Tibet is
an internal matter, and is recognized by the international
community as an inalienable part of China.

Death Penalty: Prudent Attitude
-------------------------------

11. Asked a question about a recent report that states that
China's execution rate is the highest in the world, Jiang
said that there are currently more countries with the death
penalty than without. Current conditions do not allow China
to abolish the death penalty, but China maintains a "prudent
attitude" on the subject and as such the death penalty is

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only applied to a small number of people who have committed
serious crimes.

12. A survey by the Financial Times stating that a majority
of Europeans see China as the largest threat to world
stability "does not reflect the voice of China," Jiang said.
China maintains a philosophy of peaceful development, and
China's own peaceful development has aided the development of
other countries. As such, the international community should
judge China fairly.

13. Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese
counterpart met April 14-15 to exchange views on
Sino-Japanese relations and issues of mutual interest. In
particular, the two discussed preparations for Chinese
President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to Japan, as well as
issues related to the East China Sea. Both sides will make
continued efforts, Jiang said.

14. Asked a question regarding a plan to change an
Iran-India-Pakistan pipeline into an Iran-Pakistan-China
pipeline, Jiang said she had not heard the reports.
Regarding comments from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf
that China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
can join hands with NATO to solve the problems in
Afghanistan, Jiang again said she had not heard of it. She
added that the actions of the SCO are performed within the
framework of the three founding pillars of the SCO, one of
which is regional stability and counterterrorism cooperation.
As such, China is ready to cooperate with Pakistan to fight
terrorism.

15. VISITORS: EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
will visit China April 24-26. South African Foreign Minister
Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will visit China April 19-26.
RANDT

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