Cablegate: May 27 Mfa Press Briefing: Upcoming South Korean President

DE RUEHBJ #2030/01 1481059
O 271059Z MAY 08



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: May 27 MFA Press Briefing: Upcoming South Korean President
Visit, Six-Party Talks, Human Rights, Sichuan Earthquake Aid

1. Key points at the May 27 MFA Press Briefing:

-- South Korean President Lee arrives in China for a state visit May
27 and both countries aspire to bring their relationship to a "new

-- VFM Wu Dawei will meet chief Six-Party Talks negotiators this
week and China hopes "other relevant parties" can have "effective
communications" at the bilateral level.

-- China has made "great progress" on human rights and relief
efforts after the Sichuan earthquake demonstrated that the Chinese
Government puts its people first.

-- During the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue China reiterated its
position that disputes should be settled in a constructive manner
with no double standards.

-- Earthquake relief pledges currently total 1.9 billion RMB (USD
275 million); foreign rescue teams have all left and China expresses
its "sincere thanks."

South Korean President in China on State Visit
--------------------------------------------- -

2. At the May 27 regular MFA press briefing, MFA Spokesperson Qin
Gang said ROK President Lee Myung-bak would arrive in China the same
day for a state visit. China and South Korea are important partners
and Chinese leaders look forward to deep and extensive discussion
with Lee of major regional and international issues. Both countries
aspire to bring their bilateral relationship to a new level. The
U.S.-ROK military partnership is "left over from history" and we
cannot approach today's security issues with an outdated mentality.
Countries that share the same security interests should strengthen
exchanges and build mutual trust to safeguard jointly regional
security, Qin stated. China stands ready to work with South Korea
and other nations in this regard.

Six-Party Talks

3. Qin said VFM Wu Dawei will meet in Beijing the chief Six Party
Talks negotiators from the United States, North Korea, South Korea
and Japan, and exchange views on how to advance the Six-Party Talks.
He said that China hopes "other relevant parties" can have
"effective communications" at the bilateral level, so that the
parties can implement the second phase of the Six Party process in a
comprehensive and balanced way. Asked when the DPRK will deliver
its nuclear declaration, Qin said China hopes that the Six-Party
Talks will continue to make progress as quickly as possible. He
noted that there have been recent "frequent exchanges" between the
United States and North Korea. China believes this is "very good
and conducive" and hopes the two sides will continue this momentum.
China would like to play a constructive role in this regard, said
Qin. With strengthened mutual trust in the region, parties involved
can reach a consensus on the "framework" of a Northeast Asia
security mechanism.

Human Rights

4. With respect to criticism from the international community of
China's human rights record, Qin said China had made "great
progress," and that citizens' rights and interests are protected by
law. The Sichuan earthquake demonstrated that the Chinese
Government is putting its people first and sparing no efforts, he
said. March disturbances in Lhasa were criminal acts of violence,
including looting and arson, Qin stressed, and the Chinese
Government will deal with the criminals responsible according to the
law. Qin questioned what percentage of the "international
community" these "biased-minded" countries actually represented.

U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue

5. Qin said that in the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue, led by
Chinese MFA International Organizations Director General Wu Hailong
and U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human
Rights, and Labor David J. Kramer, China reiterated its position
that disputes should be settled in a constructive manner with no
double standards in line with the principle of mutual respect. Wu
reportedly told Kramer that he is fully confident of the human
rights situation in China. Kramer reportedly said the United States
stands ready to work with China to settle disputes in a constructive
way, and that progress has been encouraging. Qin said that Kramer
expressed sympathy and condolences regarding the Sichuan earthquake
and spoke highly of China's performance in the disaster's aftermath,
demonstrating the Chinese Government's respect for human rights.
Kramer also met with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Assistant Foreign

BEIJING 00002030 002 OF 002

Minister Liu Jieyi and other officials during his visit, said Qin.

Sichuan Earthquake Aid Efforts

6. So far, 155 governments and NGOs and "eight dozen" international
organizations have donated to earthquake relief efforts. The value
of aid pledges currently totals 1.9 billion RMB (USD 275 million),
and the MFA has already received roughly one third of that amount.
Fifty-four governments and civil organizations have also donated
materials including over 210,000 tents. Foreign rescue teams have
"all left for home" and China sends its "sincere thanks" for their


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