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Cablegate: June 19 Mfa Press Briefing: East China Sea

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OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2415/01 1711232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191232Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8079
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002415

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KOLY ENRG PHUM KS KN SA JP CH
SUBJECT: JUNE 19 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: EAST CHINA SEA
AGREEMENT, XI JINPING IN DPRK, SED, FOREIGN JOURNALISTS IN
TIBET

1. Key points at the June 19 MFA press briefing were:

-- Vice Foreign Miniter Wu Dawei briefed journalists on the
East hina Sea agreement. The agreement does not undermine
China's sovereignty claims over the East China Sea, nor does
it recognize a median line. China and Japan will work to
make a "sea of peace" and will jointly develop a block in the
East China Sea.

-- Japan will cooperate in the Chunxiao gas field in
accordance with Chinese laws.

-- Vice President Xi Jinping discussed Six-Party Talks and
the nuclear issue with DPRK leaders during his visit to North
Korea.

-- The Strategic Economic Dialogue concluded with "good
results."

-- The "relevant authorities" organized the selection of
foreign journalists permitted to cover the Olympic torch
relay in Lhasa.

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

2. At the June 19, 2008 regular MFA press briefing, Vice
Foreign Minister Wu Dawei briefed journalists on the East
China Sea agreement between China and Japan. Wu noted three
major items in the June 18 agreement: First, China and Japan
will work together to make the East China Sea a "sea of
peace, cooperation and friendship"; second, without
prejudicing their respective legal positions, China and Japan
will select a block to conduct joint development in the East
China Sea; and third, Chinese enterprises welcome the
participation of Japanese "legal persons" in the development
of the Chunxiao gas field, in accordance with Chinese law.
Chinese laws regulate China's cooperation with foreign
enterprises in the exploration and exploitation of oil
resources. Wu stated that there are two important premises
to the agreement. First, the agreement does not undermine
China's sovereign rights over the East China Sea. China "has
never recognized a median line" and there "has never been a
so-called median line between Japan and China in the East
China Sea." Second, the Japanese side will cooperate in the
Chunxiao gas field in accordance with Chinese laws and
recognizes that China holds the sovereign rights over
Chunxiao oil and gas field.

3. Regarding the East China Sea continental shelf, Wu noted
that both countries have their "respective positions." China
believes in the principle of national extension, while Japan
upholds the notion of the median line. Such a difference, Wu
stated, cannot be resolved in a short period of time and
would "impact the overall interests of China-Japan
relations." The East China Sea common understanding is an
interim arrangement, while the "delineation" of the East
China Sea will continue to be worked out. Improved
China-Japan relations, said Wu, are good for the two
countries, their peoples, East Asia and the entire world.

4. Asked about the Chinese definition of "joint development"
as it relates to the Chunxiao gas field, Wu stated that the
agreement is a temporary arrangement to shelve differences on
sovereignty and sovereign rights. Chunxiao will not be
jointly developed, because exploration in Chunxiao must be in
accordance with Chinese law and sovereign rights belong to
China. In joint development cases, the two governments will
take the lead, whereas in Chunxiao, enterprises will take the
lead and governments will only "give some guidance," said Wu.

5. Asked why China and Japan decided to shelve their
differences at this particular time, Wu responded that the
two sides did not "choose" this time. Since 2006, the
China-Japan bilateral relationship has continuously improved
and established a "mutual benefit relationship." Although
some issues, like the Diaoyu Islands are a historical
holdover, the two countries should "seek to resolve these
historical issues, but not rush to a resolution." Proper
settlement of sensitive issues like these is important to the
bilateral relationship.

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

6. MFA Spokesman Jiang Yu, who briefed on all issues other
than the East China Sea agreement, said that during Vice
President Xi Jinping's visit to North Korea, he met with
relevant DPRK leaders and discussed multiple issues,
including Six-Party Talks and the nuclear issue. China hopes

BEIJING 00002415 002 OF 002


that the "relevant parties can meet halfway" to make joint
efforts work on these difficult issues. When asked about
talks on China-DPRK bilateral relations, Jiang said that the
information had already been released in a comprehensive
manner.

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

7. Asked about the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), Jiang
said that the SED had concluded with "good results." China
expanded cooperation with the United States with the 10-year
cooperation framework document in energy and environmental
protection. In the future, China and the United States will
"translate these documents into reality and promote moving
forward in terms of economic and energy cooperation." Vice
President Xi will attend the June 22 international energy
meeting in Jeddah. China hopes this meeting will enhance
dialogue and coordinate the global response to high oil
prices.

8. Asked to comment on whether it is reasonable to cite
increased oil demand in China as a factor in the dramatic
increase in global oil prices, Jiang stated that China is
both a big consumer and producer of energy. Jiang noted,
however, that China relies on domestic sources of energy for
more than 90 percent of its energy consumption.

Anti-Japanese Protest
---------------------

9. Asked about the small anti-Japanese protest that took
place in front of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on June 18,
Jiang said she was unaware of the protest. Regarding the
Diaoyu Islands, Jiang stated that China has "reiterated its
position on many occasions."

Torch Relay in Tibet
--------------------

10. Asked how foreign journalists were chosen to cover the
Tibetan leg of the Olympic torch relay, Jiang stated that the
"relevant authorities" had organized the selection of foreign
news agencies from various countries. If some foreign
journalists were not selected, China hopes they understand.
Jiang referred questions regarding the number of journalists
permitted to cover the torch relay in Lhasa tothe Beijing
Organizing Committee of the Olympc Games (BOCOG).

Amnesty International Repor
----------------------------

11. Asked tocomment on the Amnesty International report
reeased today, claiming that more than 1,000 Tibetans remain
unaccounted for since the March riots in Tibet, Jiang replied
that she had not read the report. She added that it is
well-known that Amnesty International "holds a prejudice
against China." Jiang said China is a country which follows
the rule of law and deals with relevant cases in accordance
with the law. Jiang referred further questions on this to
the relevant authorities.

Visits
------

12. Japanese destroyer Sazanami will visit Zhanjiang, a navy
port in Guangdong province, from June 24-28.
PICCUTA

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