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Cablegate: May 6 Mfa Press Briefing: Iran, Tibet, Visas, Burma,

VZCZCXRO6874
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1731/01 1272238
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 062238Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7070
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001731

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PTER KOLY MARR CVIS TW CH KS KN JA
NP, IR

SUBJECT: MAY 6 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: IRAN, TIBET, VISAS, BURMA,
XINJIANG, HU VISIT TO JAPAN, CHINESE SUBMARINE BASE, MORE


1. Key points at the May 6 MFA press briefing were:

-- Iran enjoys the right to peaceful nuclear energy use, but also
should show a sense of "responsibility."

-- Central Government policy toward the Dalai Lama is "consistent
and clear-cut" and the "door for contact is always open."

-- China has "made some arrangements according to usual
international practice," making the visa approval procedure "more
strict and more serious."

-- China has decided to send a "first batch" of USD 1 million in
aid, including "cash and aterials" to help Burma with post-cyclone
recnstruction efforts.

-- The Olympic torch relay is the aspiration of the Xinjiang people
and will display Xinjiang's ethnic solidarity, economic development
and social progress.

-- President Hu began a "very significant" state visit to Japan
today, and the two sides are "working toward the goal" of a new
joint statement.

Iran Can Use Nuclear Energy, But Must Be Responsible
--------------------------------------------- -------

2. At the May 6, 2008 regular MFA press briefing, MFA Spokesman Qin
Gang stated that a May 2 six nations foreign minister-level meeting
on the Iran nuclear issue, which AFM He Yafei attended on behalf of
FM Yang, "reiterated the six nations' willingness" to solve the
issue through a "diplomatic approach." China supports the
international nonproliferation mechanism and believes that solving
the problem through diplomatic negotiation so as to safeguard the
peace and stability of the Middle East is in the interest of all
parties. Qin held that Iran enjoys the right to peaceful nuclear
energy use, but also should show a sense of "responsibility." All
sides should step up diplomatic efforts to achieve a long-term
proper solution, Qin said.

Tibet Meetings: "Door Always Open for Contact"
--------------------------------------------- -

3. Central Government policy toward the Dalai Lama is "consistent
and clear-cut" and the "door for contact is always open," stated the
spokesman. China hopes the Dalai Lama will "mean what he says,"
stop carrying out separatist activities, stop plotting and provoking
violent activities and stop disrupting the Olympic Games so as to
create conditions for further contact. During May 4 talks with
Dalai Lama representatives in Shenzhen, Central Government officials
"clearly and comprehensively" expounded upon the Central Government
position, patiently answered questions from the Dalai Lama
representatives and "exchanged views on contact." This contact is
"only a beginning" and will continue if the Dalai Lama shows
sincerity, especially in his actions, Qin said. He told reporters
they should focus "more on contact, rather than format," when asked
about a Xinhua News Agency report stating that the talks only
addressed the March 14 incident, not actual policy.

Visas: Some "Arrangements" Made for a "Period of Time"
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. China has "made some arrangements according to usual
international practice," making the visa approval procedure
"stricter and more serious," stated Qin. He said the purpose is to
"ensure a safe environment," "safeguard national security" and
ensure the safety of foreigners in China. The Chinese Government
and people will continued to adhere to the policy of opening and
reform, to be open to the world and to welcome foreigners to China
for work, study or travel. The principle behind China's visa policy
is one of sovereignty, and compared to "some countries" that ask for
fingerprints or eye examinations, China's procedure is "more
convenient." Asked if the arrangements were temporary, Qin
responded that they will be maintained for a "period of time."

China Offers USD 1 Million in Aid to Burma
--------------------------------------------- ------

5. To assist in Burma's reconstruction efforts in the wake of a
disastrous cyclone, China has decided to send a "first batch" of USD
1 million in aid, including "cash and materials," said the spokesman
in a prepared announcement. The Chinese Government is in close
contact with the Chinese Embassy in Burma and is very concerned
about Chinese people working and studying in Burma. President Hu,
PM Wen and FM Yang have all sent messages to Burma expressing
condolences to the victims of the cyclone.

Xinjiang: Solidarity, Development, Progress
-------------------------------------------

BEIJING 00001731 002 OF 002

6. The Olympic torch relay is the aspiration of the Xinjiang people
and will display Xinjiang's ethnic solidarity, economic development
and social progress, said the spokesman in response to a question on
reports of increased repression in Xinjiang before the Olympic torch
relay arrives there. "Separatists" fear the presentation of the
Xinjiang people's "new image," said Qin.

Hu in Japan, New Joint Statement is "the Goal"
--------------------------------------------- --

7. President Hu began a "very significant" state visit to Japan
today, with the purpose of building trust, strengthening
cooperation, deepening friendship and developing a strategic
relationship of mutual benefit, said Qin. The two sides are
"working toward the goal" of a new joint statement, which would
"materialize" the "new development" in the bilateral relationship
and expand cooperation into a wider field.

8. Responding to reporters' questions, Qin said "fully responsible"
investigations into the poisoned dumplings issue are still underway
and until a conclusion is reached China cannot rule out any
possibility. Anti-China demonstrators in Japan do not represent the
Japanese people, stated Qin on the topic of Tibet- and
Olympics-related protests in Japan. Qin had nothing to add on
prospects for the two sides solving the East China Sea dispute.

China the "Backbone" of World Peace and Stability
--------------------------------------------- ----

9. Asked about reports that China is building a secret submarine
base on the southern tip of Hainan, the spokesman replied that China
is following the path of peaceful development, China's national
defense policy is defensive in nature and China's military build-up
will pose no threat to any country. He added that China will
"always be the backbone of world peace, security and stability."
China's military has the "sacred duty" of safeguarding security on
the seas, the sovereignty of its maritime territory and its maritime
rights and interests.

Bus Fire, Disease Outbreak, Taiwan, Nepal
-----------------------------------------

10. An investigation into a May 5 bus fire in Shanghai is still
underway, said Qin. China takes a reported outbreak of hand, foot
and mouth disease in southern China very seriously and will take
necessary measures. Asked about Taiwan President-elect Ma
Ying-jeou's call for an end to checkbook diplomacy, Qin stated that
China firmly opposes efforts to create "two Chinas" or "one China,
one Taiwan" and will discuss the question of Taiwan's international
actions after the "resumption of normal talks." China believes
Nepal will protect Chinese diplomatic facilities and personnel in
accordance with international conventions.
RANDT

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