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Cablegate: June 3 Mfa Press Briefing: Human Rights, Sichuan

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002143

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM MARR EAID IN JN KS KN CH
SUBJECT: JUNE 3 MFA Press Briefing: Human Rights, Sichuan
Earthquake, Japanese Destroyer's Port Call, FM Yang Travel to
Europe, Indian FM Visit to Beijing

1. Key points at the June 3 MFA Press Briefing:

-- China believes there is a "new opportunity" in the Six-Party
Talks and hopes the relevant parties will show "flexibility" in
overcoming differences.

-- The U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue was "candid," "positive" and
"constructive," helping the two countries promote "mutual respect"
and "equality."

-- China is grateful for foreign assistance to victims of the
Sichuan Earthquake and hopes the international community will donate
more tents.

-- China and Japan are discussing the possibility of delivering
earthquake relief supplies via Japanese military aircraft but have
made no decision.

-- The Japanese destroyer Takanami will make a port call to China in
the latter half of June, marking the first visit to China of a Japan
Maritime Self Defense Force vessel.

-- FM Yang departs on June 7 for a trip to Spain, Italy, Slovenia
and France, during which he will attend an EU ministerial meeting
and an international conference on Afghanistan.

-- Indian FM Mukherjee will visit China from June 6-9 to discuss
issues of mutual interest, including the Sino-Indian boundary
dispute.

Six-Party Talks
---------------

2. At the June 3 regular MFA press briefing, MFA Spokesperson Qin
Gang said VFM Wu Dawei had met and exchanged views on the Six Party
Talks with the U.S., DPRK, ROK and Japanese representatives, as well
as with the Russian Ambassador to China. VFM Wu encouraged parties
to implement the second phase in a "comprehensive" and "balanced"
way. Parties have had bilateral contacts, reached a consensus and
shown the political will to advance and implement their commitments.
There is now a "new opportunity" and China hopes parties will show
"flexibility" in overcoming differences, move ahead with talks and
produce positive results. Remaining differences include energy
cooperation, normalization of relations between "relevant countries"
and a possible Northeast Asia Peace and Security Mechanism. These
issues will take time to resolve and the parties should continue in
the meantime to enhance coordination, cooperation and mutual trust
while "marching" toward Korean denuclearization. China will
continue to play a positive role in the talks, stated Qin.

Human Rights
------------

3. Qin said China has long maintained that discussion of human
rights issues should be conducted with mutual understanding and
avoid the "double standard" of using the "pretense of human rights"
to interfere with China's internal affairs. China has been making
efforts to increase "ecosystem development" and raise living
standards and has made great achievements. China will not make its
decisions based on the will of another country or organization, he
said. China's policies are "consistent" and follow the principle of
socialism with Chinese characteristics. Qin called the U.S.-China
Human Rights Dialogue "candid," "positive" and "constructive." Both
sides elaborated on progress in the field of human rights and
discussed freedom of speech as well. He said the dialogue helped
the two countries promote "mutual respect" and "equality."

Sichuan Earthquake
------------------

4. Qin said China hopes the international community would donate
more tents to China in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake. He
thanked other nations, especially Japan, for donating tents over the
past few weeks. Qin reported that foreign countries have given
251,000 tents to China, and most have now been delivered to the
affected area. Other donations will be delivered soon, he said.
Referring to questions about more restrictive access for
journalists, Qin said that since the earthquake, China has
facilitated open news coverage. He said the principle of
transparency must be implemented "according to local conditions" and
in accord with the needs of localities. Local authorities are not
trying to "block the news" or "make difficulties," he said.

BEIJING 00002143 002 OF 002

Disaster Assistance in Japanese Military Aircraft
--------------------------------------------- ----

5. Asked whether the Japanese Government will deliver more aid in
civilian or military aircraft, Qin said the two parties were still
consulting and had not yet made a specific decision. The "friendly
affection" and people-to-people interaction between China and Japan
are indications of a new phase in the Sino-Japanese relationship, as
underscored during President Hu Jintao's recent visit to Japan, Qin
said.

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Ship Visit
--------------------------------------------

6. The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JDS
Takanami will make a port visit to China in the latter half of June,
stated Qin. The Takanami will be the first JMSDF ship visit to
China. The visit reciprocates the visit of the PLA Navy destroyer
Shenzhen to Japan in November 2007.

Upcoming Tiananmen Anniversary
------------------------------

7. Regarding the upcoming 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square
crackdown, Qin said the events at Tiananmen were a "political
incident" that occurred at the end of the 1980s and which relates to
China's internal affairs. He declined to comment further.

FM Yang to Travel to Spain, Italy, Slovenia, France
--------------------------------------------- ------

8. Qin said Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will depart for Spain on
June 7. While in Madrid, Yang is scheduled to meet the Spanish
Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and King Juan Carlos II. FM Yang
also plans to travel to Italy and to attend a European Union
ministerial meeting in Slovenia. FM Yang will also attend the
international conference on Afghanistan in Paris on June 12.

Indian FM to Visit China June 6-9; Boundary Dispute
--------------------------------------------- ------

9. Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee will make his first
visit to China June 6-9. FM Mukherjee is slated to meet Premier Wen
Jiabao, FM Yang and other Chinese leaders. Indian Prime Minister
Singh's recent visit to China was "successful," noted Qin, and the
two countries reached a consensus on expanding cooperative
exchanges, on not regarding each other as "threats" and on working
toward peace and stability in the region. The Sino-Indian border
issue will likely be discussed, Qin said, but China and India have a
special mechanism for discussion of the border issue and progress
has been made in recent years. There have been eleven rounds of
border talks and the two countries have agreed on guiding principles
for negotiations. The two sides are now discussing a framework for
resolution. In the mean time, China will make efforts to maintain
"tranquility" and "stability" in the border region and push for the
"sound development" of Sino-Indian ties.

China-Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers Meeting
--------------------------------------------- -----

10. Qin said that the upcoming meeting of Chinese, Japanese and
South Korean Foreign Ministers is a "regular exchange mechanism" and
the three ministers will discuss issues of great importance to
peace, stability and development in the region. China hopes the
meeting will promote trilateral cooperation and "generate good
results."

PICCUTA

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