Cablegate: April 17 Mfa Press Briefing: Torch Relay, Dalai
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001490
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TAGS: PREL PGOV SOCI PHUM CH JA
SUBJECT: APRIL 17 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TORCH RELAY, DALAI
LAMA, CNN APOLOGY, ETC.
1. Key points at the regular April 17 MFA press briefing:
-- The torch relay in Pakistan was "warm and grand," and the
people of India have "shown their enthusiasm for the relay."
-- The Beijing Olympic Committee will arrange a specific
media group to cover the Mount Everest leg of the torch
relay, which will then provide the "signal" free of charge.
-- The Dalai Lama side "has shown no positive response," and
thus "seriously undermined the basis for contact and
dialogue" with the Chinese Government.
-- The Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region "will make
an assessment of the situation and decide in accordance with
local conditions" when to allow press back into Tibet.
-- Regarding commentator Jack Cafferty's comments, CNN should
"take the issue seriously, take back its vicious remarks and
make an apology to the people of China."
-- There has been a "new development" which shows "the
political will to move ahead on the (Six-Party Talks)
Why no Torch Relay Protests in Non-democratic Countries?
2. At the regularly-scheduled MFA press briefing April 17,
MFA Spokesperson Jiang Yu said the 2008 Olympic torch relay
has allowed more Asian countries to experience the "fun and
joy" of the torch relay. Jiang characterized the torch relay
leg in Pakistan as "warm and grand," and said the people of
India have "shown their enthusiasm for the relay." She said
she expects the Indian Government will take effective
measures to ensure a safe and smooth relay. Jiang
emphatically disagreed with a reporter's comment that there
is a message in the fact that all democratic countries in
which the torch relay has thus far occurred have had "major
protests," while events have run smoothly for the legs run in
non-democratic countries. Jiang said the torch relay is an
inappropriate venue to pursue political goals and
specifically noted that the "so-called peace and nonviolence"
of the "Tibetan independence forces" has been exposed to the
world for the "deceit and true nature of their violent
3. Repeatedly emphasizing that the torch relay is a Beijing
Olympic Committee (BOCOG)-lead issue, the spokesperson did
not clearly comment on a Japanese media question which
implied Japan had refused a PRC request to allow PRC security
officials to run escort for the torch relay in Nagoya next
week. Jiang twice delivered incoherent answers regarding
foreign press coverage of the Everest leg of the torch relay,
but said that BOCOG will "organize the group (of media) for
the official signal for the video pictures," and would in
turn "provide the signals free of charge to the media."
Dalai Lama Side Not Showing Sincerity for Dialogue
4. The PRC has shown "maximum sincerity and patience," Jiang
averred, while the Dalai Lama side "has shown no positive
response," and thus "seriously undermined the basis for
contact and dialogue." Jiang twice delineated three
activities the "Dalai Lama clique" must cease in order to
show their sincerity for dialogue: 1) efforts to split the
motherland; 2) efforts to sabotage the Olympics; and 3)
instigation of violent activities. "Only on this basis can
we have the dialogue again," she said.
Foreign Press Challenges in China
5. Jiang said China welcomes the world press to come cover
the Beijing Games. "We will honor our commitment for the
Games and facilitate the coverage of foreign media in China,"
she claimed, but then continued, "At the same time, we hope
that during their reporting work, they can uphold the
principles of objectiveness, balance and fairness."
6. Responding to a reporter's query on the apparent
indefinite delay of a May 1 commitment to allow reporters
back into Tibet, Jiang said the Government of the Tibet
Autonomous Region "will make an assessment of the situation
and decide in accordance with local conditions."
7. Jiang reported that MFA Information Department Director
General Liu Jianchao "launched solemn representation" to the
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CNN Beijing Office Director last evening. Jiang called the
CNN apology "insincere" and said CNN commentator Jack
Cafferty's comments were an effort to "sow discontent between
the Chinese Government and people." "We cannot accept it
(the apology) at all," she said, and called on CNN to "take
the issue seriously, take back its vicious remarks and to
make an apology to the people of China."
Lawyers not allowed to see Hu Jia for Appeal?
8. An Agence France Presse reporter pressed Jiang twice for
clarification on the Hu Jia case, claiming Hu had been denied
the right to see a lawyer to assist in his appeal. Jiang
repeatedly claimed China is a country governed by law, that
Hu's case had been dealt with in accordance with Chinese law
and that any further questions should be addressed to
judicial authorities. Jiang said that as an official of the
Chinese Government, she had "no right to interfere with
9. A New York Times reporter queried Jiang on the
whereabouts of a Tibetan who works for the state-run TV
station in Qinghai, Jamyang Kyi, who, "according to wire
reports and his family," has been missing since April 1.
Jiang said she had not heard of the case, but emphasized that
Chinese law "fully protects freedom of speech" and claimed,
"Only if someone goes against the law will they be punished
by the law."
Six Party and P5 Plus 1 Talks
10. Asked about the outcome of United States-DPRK talks in
Singapore and the implications for the schedule of Six-Party
Talks, Jiang admitted there had been a "new development"
which shows "the political will to move ahead on the
process." China will "follow the relevant situation and make
suggestions for the proper resumption of talks at the proper
11. Jiang also reported that the P5 plus 1 political
directors agreed to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue by
diplomatic channels. Jiang called the talks "in depth and
candid" and said the countries agreed to enhance diplomatic
efforts to seek a "long-term and comprehensive proper
solution" of the Iranian nuclear issue.