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Cablegate: June 17 Mfa Press Briefing: East China Sea, Diaoyu Islands,

VZCZCXRO1165
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2372/01 1690957
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170957Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8017
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1982
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0711
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 9018

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002372

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KOLY PHUM KS KN SA JP
SUBJECT: JUNE 17 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: EAST CHINA SEA, DIAOYU ISLANDS,
XI JINPING IN DPRK, SED

1. Key points at the June 17 MFA press briefing were:

-- China and Japan are currently discussing the details of an
agreement on East China Sea gas exploration.

-- The Diaoyu Islands are an inseparable part of China and Japan's
actions there are "illegitimate."

-- Vice President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea from June 17-19
to and hopes to promote bilateral cooperation and friendship.

-- China is ready to listen to the concerns of the United States at
the SED.

East China Sea
--------------

2. At the June 17, 2008 regular MFA press briefing, MFA Spokesman
Jiang Yu was asked repeatedly about a reported deal between China
and Japan on oil exploration in the East China Sea. Jiang said
information will be released once a deal is reached. Any agreement
will be in accordance with the Fukuda-Hu consensus that the East
China Sea be a "sea of peace, friendship and cooperation." Jiang
stressed that China's policy toward the East China Sea has not
changed. Jiang said that the Chunxiao oil and gas fields and their
development as a part of China's territory is a separate issue from
that of territorial demarcation. Asked to clarify whether that
meant that joint development of the area and sovereignty of the area
are two separate issues, Jiang backed down saying only that the two
countries are having discussions on the details which will be
released at the appropriate time.

3. Regarding the Diaoyu Islands and the recent collision between a
Japanese Coast Guard vessel and a Taiwan fishing vessel, Jiang
stressed that the Diaoyu Islands are the indisputable territory of
China and expressed China's "grave concern" over the incident.
Jiang called on Japan to stop its "illegitimate" activities and to
prevent similar incidents in the future.

Xi Jinping DPRK Visit
---------------------

4. The spokesperson confirmed that Vice President Xi Jinping will
visit the DPRK from June 17-19. Jiang said that both countries are
committed to the development of their traditional friendship. China
hopes the visit will promote cooperation in various fields and good
neighborly relations.

Strategic Economic Dialogue
---------------------------

5. Asked about the Strategic Economic Dialogue, Jiang said that the
two sides have been working on a 10 year cooperative framework
document. China hopes the talks "have good results." Jiang
reiterated China's position that the U.S. trade deficit is not
caused by China's currency. China hopes that the United States will
take effective measures to control the trade deficit. China is
"seriously considering the concerns of the U.S. side and is ready to
make joint efforts with the United States to promote mutually
beneficial trade between the two countries."

ASEM Meetings in Beijing
------------------------

6. Jiang said that the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting
(ASEP) will take place on June 18. The declaration adopted during
this meeting will be brought to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
summit to be held in Beijing in October. China hopes that
cooperation with Europe will result in a "win-win" situation.

Australian Athletes Missing Opening Ceremony
--------------------------------------------

7. Asked to comment on reports that Australian athletes will not
attend the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics due to
pollution concerns, Jiang said that these concerns were not
necessary. China will stick to its commitments and "make efforts to
overcome the earthquake" in preparation for the Olympic Games, said
Jiang. Jiang noted that Beijing has already taken more than 200
measures to improve the environment for the Olympic Games including
strengthening cooperation with neighboring provinces to reduce
pollution. During the games, the "main criteria" will be met and
Beijing will provide a beautiful and clean environment.

Other
-----

8. Jiang said that relevant authorities would handle preparation for
a Saudi Arabia Oil Summit. When pressed, she would not reveal who

BEIJING 00002372 002 OF 002


the relevant authorities were. Jiang referred a question on whether
foreign journalists would be allowed into Tibet to cover the Olympic
torch to relevant authorities. Jiang had not heard reports that a
Chinese dissident committed suicide after returning from Australia.

Visits
------

9. Greek president Karolos Papoulias will visit China from June
23-27. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit Kazakhstan from June
24-25.

PICCUTA

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