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Cablegate: May 20 Mfa Press Briefing: Sichuan Earthquake, Six-Party

VZCZCXRO8479
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1955/01 1411003
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201003Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7408
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1925
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0657
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 8999

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001955

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KOLY KS GM RS IR TW
SUBJECT: MAY 20 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: SICHUAN EARTHQUAKE, SIX-PARTY
TALKS, TAIWAN, GERMANY AND DALAI LAMA, IRAN NUCLEAR PROPOSALS,
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VISIT


1. Key points at the May 20 MFA press briefing were:

-- China is grateful for foreign assistance and condolences.

-- The Six-Party Talks have maintained momentum and China hopes
recent meetings will produce results.

-- Taiwan is "ineligible" for observer status at the World Health
Assembly.

-- Germany should honor its commitments and not send the Dalai Lama
any "wrong signals."

-- The spokesperson was not authorized to release information on
Iranian nuclear proposals.

Gratitude for International Assistance
--------------------------------------

2. At the May 20, 2008 regular MFA press briefing, MFA Spokesman Qin
Gang expressed the "gratitude of the Chinese people and government"
for the international assistance and condolences following the
earthquake which struck Sichuan Province May 12. Qin said that 166
countries and over 30 international groups have expressed
"solicitude" over the disaster. In addition, rescue teams from the
Republic of Korea, Singapore, Russia and Japan took part in the
rescue work. China will also allow medical teams from Germany,
Italy, Russia and Japan to assist in Sichuan. Other countries have
expressed their desire to send teams and the China Red Cross will
make the decision on what help is needed when. Qin said requests to
help would be viewed positively, but transportation and
communication issues make accepting the teams difficult. Qin said
the rescue teams exhibited professionalism and worked in spite of
dangerous conditions. China is still asking for tents and
medications. China has been greatly moved by the responses of
foreign governments and civil organizations to its requests for
help, said Qin.

Six Party Talks Maintain Momentum
---------------------------------

3. In response to a journalisQ question on reported meetings
between negotiators, Qin said the Six-Party Talks have "maintained
momentum" and relevant parties had maintained contact. China hopes
recent meetings will "produce positive results."

Taiwan Ineligible for WHA
-------------------------

4. Regarding granting observer status for Taiwan at the World Health
Assembly (WHA), Qin said Taiwan is ineligible under the WHA's own
rules. China attaches great importance to the health of its "Taiwan
compatriots." Under a "technical exchange" Memorandum of
Understanding, 15 Taiwan groups have already participated in 27 WHO
"technical activities." Qin emphasized that "there is only one
China in the world and both the Mainland and Taiwan belong to the
same China." Qin referred questions about Ma Ying-jeou's inaugural
speech to the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office.

No Wrong Signals to Dalai Lama
------------------------------

5. Asked about the Dalai Lama's activities in Germany, Qin
reiterated China's "persistent and clear" opposition to any country,
groups or individuals using the Dalai Lama to interfere in China's
internal affairs. Qin noted that "with joint efforts" the
Germany-China relationship is "gradually" getting back on track.
Germany has made commitments to the one China policy and China hopes
that Germany will honor these commitments and not send any wrong
signals to the Dalai Lama in order to "ensure the sound development
of China-Germany relations."

No Information on Iran Nuclear Proposal
---------------------------------------

6. Qin said he was not authorized to release any information on the
Iranian nuclear proposals, but that information would probably be
released soon. China wants a peaceful solution to the issue, said
Qin.

Visits
------

7. Qin gave details of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's schedule
while in China. Medvedev will meet with President Hu Jintao on the
afternoon of May 23 after which there will be a press conference.
On the morning of May 24, Medvedev will meet with Premier Wen Jiabao

BEIJING 00001955 002 OF 002


and National People's Congress Standing Committee Chairman Wu
Bangguo. In the afternoon he will meet with CPPCC Chairman JiaQglin and deliver a speech at Peking University. Qin also
announced that Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid will visit
China May 23-27.

RANDT

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