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Cablegate: The U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue, Working

VZCZCXRO6907
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2104/01 1511040
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301040Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7651
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 BEIJING 002104

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR DRL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/30/2033
TAGS: PHUM PREL KOLY NK BR CH
SUBJECT: THE U.S.-CHINA HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE, WORKING
LUNCH, MAY 26, 2008: UNHRC, ICCPR, NORTH KOREA, BURMA

Classified By: POLITICAL MINISTER COUNSELOR AUBREY CARLSON. REASONS 1.4
(B) AND (D).

1. (U) May 26, 2008; 1:30 p.m.; Beijing, Diaoyutai State
Guesthouse

2. (U) Participants:

U.S.
David J. Kramer, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Rights, and Labor
John V. Hanford, Ambassador at Large for International
Religious Freedom
Thomas Christensen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Dan Picutta, Charge d'Affairs, a.i., Embassy Beijing
Robert K. Harris, Assistant Legal Advisor, Department of State
Richard W. Behrend, PRM Advisor, Department of State
Susan O'Sullivan, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Democracy,
Rights, and Labor, Department of State
Dan Kritenbrink, Internal Unit Chief, Political Section,
Embassy Beijing
Emilie L. Kao, Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of Democracy
Rights, and Labor, International Religious Freedom,
Department of State
Jeannette M. Windon, Special Assistant, Office of Democracy
and Global Affairs, Department of State
Andrea Goodman, Political Officer, Bureau of East Asian and
Pacific Affairs, Department of State
Steve Goldrup, Second Secretary, Embassy Beijing
Gregory May, Second Secretary, Embassy Beijing (notetaker)
James Brown, Interpreter

PRC
Wu Hailong, Director General, International Organizations and
Conferences Department, MFA
Shen Yongxiang, Deputy Director General, International
Organizations and Conferences Department, MFA
Yao Maochen, Deputy Inspector of United Front Work
Department, CPC Central Committee
Teng Wei, Deputy Director General, Criminal Division,
Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's
Congress Standing Committee
Wan Yonghai, Presiding Judge, Second Criminal Division,
Supreme People's Court
Sun Maoli, Deputy Director General, Legal Affairs Department,
Ministry of Public Security
Liu Guoyu, Deputy Director General, Prison Administration
Department, Ministry of Justice
Guo Wei, Director General, Foreign Affairs Department, State
Administration for Religious Affairs
Liu Zhengrong, Director General (acting), Internet
Department, State Council Information Office
Suolang Renzeng, Deputy Chief, Administration for Ethnic and
Religious Affairs, Tibetan Autonomous Region
Zhao Yubin, Director, North American and Oceanian Affairs
Department, MFA
Yan Jiarong, Director, International Organizations and
Conferences Department, MFA
Yao Shaojun, Deputy Director, International Organizations and
Conferences Department, MFA
Xu Jing, Deputy Director, International Organizations and
Conferences Department, MFA Zheng Zeguang, Director General,
North American and Oceanian Affairs
Zu Yanwei, Attache, International Organizations and
Conferences Department, MFA
Liu Lingxiao, Attache, International Organizations and
Conferences Department, MFA
Fang Qiang, Interpreter, MFA

Summary
-------

3. (C) China and the United States should cooperate more on
human rights issues in the United Nations, Shen Yongxiang,
Deputy Director General of the MFA's Department of
International Organizations, said during a May 26 working
lunch. DDG Shen said the United States should reengage with
the Council in order to improve it. DDG Shen said China
intends to invite the new UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights to visit, saying there was not enough time left in
current Commissioner Louise Arbour's term for this. DRL
Assistant Secretary Kramer countered that Arbour would
welcome a chance to visit China. DDG Shen said China will
continue to host visits by UN Special Rapporteurs at a rate
of one per year. China is working toward ratification of the

BEIJING 00002104 002 OF 004


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
but must still accomplish further legal reforms, including a
review of China's Reeducation Through Labor (RTL) system, in
order to comply with the Covenant. On North Korean refugees,
Director General Wu Hailong repeated standard points that
North Koreans in China are "economic migrants." However,
China has been cooperative with the UNHCR and will allow the
remaining five North Koreans under UNHCR care to depart for
third countries by the end of June. EAP DAS Christensen
urged China to press Burma to grant access to foreign
disaster relief experts. DG Wu said Burma continues to be
suspicious of the United States, yet the Burmese regime is
taking positive steps, including accepting U.S. material
assistance. End Summary.

UN Human Rights Council
-----------------------

4. (C) DDG Shen Yongxiang began the May 26 working lunch with
an appeal that the United States and China work more closely
in the UN Human Rights Council. Shen argued that more
cooperation in the UN between the United States and China in
the area of human rights would improve the international
image of both countries. China is ready to work with the
United States to promote a UN body that is "fair, objective
and non-selective." DDG Shen complained that, following the
"serious crimes" carried out by rioters in Lhasa March 14,
the United States "violated the proceedings" of the UN Human
Rights Council by unfairly accusing China of rights
violations in Tibet. China hopes the United States will
participate in a "more productive way" in the Human Rights
Council. China supports the current process of universal
periodic review in the Human Rights Council, and the United
States should take the review process seriously. DDG Shen
encouraged the United States to participate in the upcoming
Durban UN World Conference Against Racism.

5. (C) A/S Kramer responded that the United States is
extremely disappointed in the UN Human Rights Council. The
periodic review process is a possible positive mechanism, but
it is too early to tell how successful that mechanism will
be. On Durban, A/S Kramer said that while it will ultimately
be up to the next administration to decide whether the United
States participates, this would be "extremely difficult"
unless there is a major overhaul of the approaches to be
taken at the conference. A/S Kramer noted that Canada has
already announced it will skip the Durban conference and
Israel has serious reservations. DDG Shen said that while
China "respects" the views of the United States and its
disappointment with the Human Rights Council, some current
deficiencies could have been avoided had the United States
been more engaged at the start of the reform process. DDG
Shen said the United States and other Western countries
backed the idea that the support of one-third of Human Rights
Council members is enough to hold a special session, whereas
China believes a 50-percent threshold would have been fairer.
Assistant Legal Advisor Harris said that the United States
agreed that the Council should not have double standards or
be politicized. The Council should be willing to address
fairly the most serious human rights abuses wherever they
occur. However, the United States believes it is a double
standard for the Council to hold many special sessions and
adopt one-sided resolutions concerning Israel while failing
to hold special sessions on the most serious human rights
problems (for example Zimbabwe). Meanwhile, the Council in
its first year issued only two special mechanisms mandates,
which involved Cuba and Belarus. As a practical matter,
China's earlier proposal to require a 50-percent majority for
calling special sessions would not prevent special sessions
involving Israel. However, a 50-percent threshold might have
proven to be a barrier to convening special sessions
regarding other countries with profound human rights problems.

Visits by UN Commissioners, Special Rapporteurs
--------------------------------------------- --

6. (C) A/S Kramer urged China to host more Special
Rapporteurs and to invite UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise
Arbour to visit Tibet. DDG Shen said China is "open and
positive" about receiving a visit by the Commissioner.
However, her term will expire this year. China thus will
extend an invitation to the new Commissioner. Kramer replied
that Arbour would welcome the chance to visit China before
her term expires and could easily find time on her schedule.
Harris added that the possibility of visiting Tibet is the
reason Arbour wants to make a visit during the last months of

BEIJING 00002104 003 OF 004


her tenure. China, DDG Shen said, also welcomes visits by
various UN Special Rapporteurs and already has extended
invitations to the Rapporteurs on religious freedom and
education, among others. China's goal is to host a visit by
one Special Rapporteur per year. However, China has not
hosted such visits in the last two years while the UN Human
Rights Council structure has been under review. Once the
review is complete, China will resume issuing invitations.
However, DDG Shen added, China must balance the timing and
sequencing of Special Rapporteur visits between the
political, cultural and social realms. Harris commented that
the United States hosts on average three Special Rapporteurs
per year and has had several visits in the past two years.

ICCPR
-----

7. (C) China is "positive" about the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), DDG Shen asserted, and
since signing the Covenant has been making efforts to prepare
for ratification. Since 2003, China has engaged in a series
of judicial reforms that will help smooth eventual
ratification. However, China still must make additional
reforms to its criminal justice system in order to comply
with the ICCPR, and is currently reviewing its Reform Through
Labor (RTL) system. All of these changes will create
favorable conditions for ratification of the ICCPR. Finally,
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with the
United Nations to resolve "inconsistencies" that have been
identified in the Chinese translation of the ICCPR. China,
DDG Shen averred, is even more "eager" to ratify the ICCPR
than the United States is to ratify the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
Harris noted that the United States has not yet announced an
intention to ratify the ICESCR because, like China, the
United States wants to be absolutely sure that it can
implement all the Covenant's provisions.

North Korea
-----------

8. (C) PRM Advisor Behrend urged China to stop repatriating
North Korean refugees against their will, particularly those
seeking protection from the UN High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR) office i China. China should improve access for
Nort Korean refugees to UNHCR and grant Chinese iizenship
to children of mixed Chinese-North Korean parentage, which
would allow them access to schools and other social services.
Director General Wu Hailong responded that North Koreans in
China are not "refugees" but rather economic migrants who
have entered the country illegally. Nevertheless, China has
cooperated in the cases of 30 North Koreans under UNHCR care.
By June, China will approve the departure to third countries
of the remaining five North Koreans still under UNHCR care in
China. DG Wu urged the United States not to allow U.S.
nationals to break Chinese law by becoming involved with
North Korean illegal migrants. DG Wu noted that illegal
migrants from North Korea had in the past violated Chinese
law by storming diplomatic compounds and international
schools. The ultimate solution to the North Korean problem
is to work toward peace and stability on the Korean
peninsula. Once the DPRK economy develops, DG Wu predicted,
the number of illegal border crossers from North Korea will
decline.

Burma Humanitarian Relief
-------------------------

9. (C) EAP DAS Christensen expressed appreciation for China's
help in convincing Burma to accept U.S. cyclone relief
assistance. Christensen urged China to push Burma to allow
foreign relief workers into the country. Though Burma has
accepted supplies from the United States, the Burmese regime
should also agree to accept technical experts from around the
world. Such experts are needed on the ground to ensure an
effective aid operation. DG Wu said China appreciates the
help the USG has given to Burma. Any international
assistance effort, however, must respect the needs and wishes
of Burma. The United States has been hostile to Burma's
development, and this, DG Wu said, has led to suspicion on
the Burmese side. Despite this, DG Wu continued, Burma is
now accepting U.S. aid and recently allowed a visit by U.S.
Pacific Command's Admiral Keating. DG Wu observed that Burma
remains hesitant to admit aid workers and has not granted
entry to a team of Chinese rescue workers. After the
devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China has been very open

BEIJING 00002104 004 OF 004


to offers of international assistance, DG Wu said, and
China's attitude has affected Burma. A/S Kramer praised
China's response to the earthquake and openness to outside
help. DG Wu said China's openness shows the progress China
has made in many areas.
PICCUTA

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