Cablegate: July 29 Mfa Press Briefing: Security, Internet Censorship,
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SUBJECT: JULY 29 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: SECURITY, INTERNET CENSORSHIP,
HUMAN RIGHTS, MEDIA FREEDOM
1. Key points at the July 29 afternoon MFA press briefing were:
-- The Kunming bus bombings were not connected to the Olympics, and
China is focused on ensuring the safety of those who attend the
-- You can "get all the information you need" from the Internet in
China, but some foreign websites may have their own technical
problems making them difficult to view in China.
-- Amnesty International needs to "take off its colored glasses"
when viewing China. China takes an open attitude towards human
rights discussions, however.
-- Regulations allowing free rein for foreign journalists have yet
to be "100 percent enacted."
-- China will make comments if U.S. presidential candidates meet
with "separatists or terrorists" Such as the Dalai Lama.
-- China and Russia are planning a Prime Minister's meeting focused
2. The July 21 bus bombings in Kunming had "no connection" with the
Olympics said spokesman Liu Jianchao at the July 29 regular press
conference. However, security remains an important part of a
successful Olympics. China will do what it takes to protect both
the Chinese people as well as foreigners who attend the games, said
Liu. Asked to clarify what threats there were to the Olympic Games,
Liu said that terrorists exist both in China and in the
international community. Liu specifically singled out the Turkestan
Islamic Party as one terrorist group about which the international
community should be "concerned." Asked about conspiracy theories
claiming China is manipulating the threat of terrorism to justify
enhanced security, Liu said that some groups invented conspiracy
theories to attack the Chinese government.
3. Asked repeatedly why some foreign websites are still not
accessible in China, Liu said that you can "get all the information
you need" from the Internet in China. China will facilitate
athletes' access to the internet during the games, said Liu. Liu
also pointed out that individual foreign websites may have their own
technical problems which make them difficult to access from China.
Asked whether illegal websites such as those created by outlawed
spiritual movement Falungong would be unblocked, Liu responded that
"Falungong is a cult and we will adhere to our position."
4. No one who knows China will agree with the recent Amnesty
International report saying human rights in China have deteriorated,
said Liu. Liu said that he hopes the group will "take off its
colored glasses" and "see China in an objective way." China takes an
"open attitude" toward discussions of human rights and does not
"evade the topic," said Liu. Liu acknowledged that some parties
follow human rights in China very closely but sometimes they
disregard China's "great improvements" in human rights to attack
China with groundless accusations. China opposes attempts to use
human rights to interfere in China's domestic affairs.
Foreign Media Freedom
5. Responding to accusations that foreign journalists continue to be
harassed in Beijing, Liu said that the problem lies with the Chinese
side, the foreign journalists and miscommunication. Liu admitted
that the regulations allowing free rein for foreign journalists had
not been "100 percent enacted" and asked for cooperation while
officials are made aware of the new rules.
Presidential Candidates and Dalai Lama
6. Asked whether China considers its comments on Senator McCain's
meetings with the Dalai Lama to be inappropriate meddling in the
internal politics of the United States, Liu said that China would
comment if presidential candidates meet with "separatists or
terrorists." Asked to clarify whether the Dalai Lama is a
terrorist, Liu backtracked saying that China only considers him a
separatist. Liu would not comment on whether Senator Obama would
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7. Liu referred to "relevant authorities" questions regarding the
three "protest zones" which Beijing plans to designate during the
Olympic Games. Liu could not elaborate on or explain the laws
governing protests which seem to indicate that foreigners may only
participate in protests in China if the protests are led by a
Chinese citizen nor could he comment on laws prohibiting protests
against the government and Communist Party.
8. Liu would not comment on President Bush's schedule while in
China. Though he could not provide an exact list of dignitaries who
will attend the games, Liu said more than 80 would be present at the
Opening Ceremony. Asked whether China would lift its ban on
foreigners with HIV/AIDs as it has for foreigners with leprosy
during the games, Liu said that the entry and exit of foreigners
would be governed by the relevant laws of China.
French Companies in China
9. Asked to confirm reports that French companies are finding it
harder to register in Beijing, Liu said that the reports are "not in
line with the facts." Liu provided statistics indicating that there
has been an increase in trade between France and China this year.
China hopes to continue developing its partnership with France, said
FDA Opening Offices in China
10. China attaches great importance to food safety, said Liu in
response to a question regarding the opening of Food and Drug
Administration offices in China. Liu said that China and the United
States have "been in contact" regarding the issue and will "find a
way to resolve the issue in a proper way."
China-Russia Prime Minister Meeting on Energy
11. China and Russia have agreed to hold a prime minister level
meeting on energy in Moscow sometime later this year, said Liu. Liu
could not confirm reports that the meeting would be held in October.
12. Liu said that accusations that China was to blame for lack of
progress in the Doha Round of WTO negotiations are "groundless."
Liu said that developed countries should be more understanding of
developing countries and stop "setting up obstacles." China will
continue to work to find a solution acceptable to all parties, he