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Cablegate: July 31 Mfa Press Briefing: Bush Visit, Bush Meeting With

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311124Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8888
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4378
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0824
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 9048
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2042
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0782
RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 0060

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 002964

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KOLY OVIP FR EZ RS KN KS BU HU JA
CH
SUBJECT: JULY 31 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: Bush Visit, Bush Meeting with
Dissidents, Internet Restrictions, Human Rights

1. Key points at the July 31 MFA Press Briefing:

-- President Bush will meet with Premier Wen Jiabao, President Hu
Jintao, and Vice-President Xi Jinping during the Olympics to hold
discussions to develop bilateral ties, Liu said. They will discuss
"many different issues" of mutual interest.

-- President Bush's meeting with five Chinese dissidents was gross
interference in China's internal affairs.

-- China is determined to "implement regulations effectively" on
Internet censorship during the Olympics.

-- U.S. Senator Brownback's statement that Chinese hotels are being
forced to monitor guests' activities is an "unfair accusation."

-- Both sides need to reflect on a recent conflict between Chinese
police and Hong Kong journalists attempting to report on scuffles in
an Olympics ticket line. "If China needs to adjust, we will," the
Spokesman said.

-- China's constitution guarantees citizens freedom of speech and
China is a country with the rule of law.

-- China "would be happy" to meet with French President Sarkozy
before the Olympics Opening Ceremony, but the specifics are still
being discussed.

-- China welcomes foreign leaders to the Olympics but hopes they
will follow the Olympic Charter and not take actions to damage
bilateral relations.

-- The spokesperson had not heard reports of the confiscation of
Russian tourists' passports in Hainan, but doubted the reports were
true.

-- VISITS: One hundred middle and primary school students from
earthquake-stricken Wenchuan, Sichuan will visit Hungary and
Bulgaria August 24-25 "to convalesce." U.S. North Korea expert Sung
Kim will arrive in China July 31 to meet Chinese leaders to exchange
views on the Six-Party Talks.

Bush Visit
----------

2. President Bush will meet with Premier Wen Jiabao, President Hu
Jintao, and Vice-President Xi Jinping during the Olympics to hold
discussions to develop bilateral ties, MFA spokesman Liu Jianchao
said at the regular biweekly MFA press conference July 31. Bush and
Hu will discuss "many different issues" of mutual interest. Over
the eight years of the Bush presidency there have been many advances
in bilateral relations, including solid progress in politics,
economics, trade, social and cultural exchanges, counterterrorism,
the environment and law enforcement cooperation.

Bush Meeting with Dissidents
----------------------------

3. President Bush's meeting with five Chinese dissidents was a gross
interference in China's internal affairs and provided encouragement
to anti-China forces, Liu said. The people with whom Bush met are
anti-China splittists seeking to undermine national security under
the guise of human rights and religion, and China is strongly
opposed to Bush's meeting with them, he added.

Internet Censorship
-------------------

4. China is "determined to implement regulations effectively" on
Internet censorship, Liu said in response to questions on Internet
access for journalists at the Olympic Press Center. Liu refused to
answer any follow up questions on the subject and referred several
questioners to the IOC.

Brownback Comments on Hotel Surveillance
----------------------------------------

5. U.S. Senator Brownback's statement that hotels in China are being
forced to monitor their guests is an "unfair accusation," Liu said.
China respects and guarantees privacy and has taken no special
arrangements for the Olympics "beyond normal international security
regulations."

Constitutional Guarantees of Freedom of Speech

BEIJING 00002964 002 OF 003


--------------------------------------------- -

6. Asked a question about Chinese citizens not being allowed to meet
with foreign media during the Olympics, Liu said that China's
constitution guarantees its citizens freedom of speech, and that he
had not heard any reports of Chinese citizens being denied this
right.

Conflicts with Journalists
--------------------------

7. Asked about a conflict between Chinese police and Hong Kong
journalists who attempted to report on scuffles that took place
during Olympic ticket sales, Liu said that "the incident has its
causes," and that both sides should reflect on the relevant issues.
"If China needs to adjust, we will," he said. Liu added that
foreign journalists must follow the instructions of the police in
China. Asked about South Korean journalists who evaded security to
film the rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies, Liu said that China
has taken appropriate measures for security. "A successful Olympic
Games must be secure," he said, and expressed hope that all parties
would support this principle.

Ni Yulan Trial
--------------

8. Liu said he had not heard of the trial of Ni Yulan, a Chinese
lawyer who had assisted people who had been evicted. He noted that
China is a country with the rule of law, and said that the trial
will take place in accordance with the law. He noted that the
separation of sports and politics is in accord with the spirit of
the Olympic Games.

Sarkozy Meeting
---------------

9. Asked whether President Hu Jintao will meet French President
Nicolas Sarkozy before the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Liu responded
that China "would be happy to meet with him," but that the specifics
are still under discussion.

Foreign Leaders at Olympics
---------------------------

10. Asked to comment on reports of an "unnamed leader" who had worn
a Tibetan flag pin (whom the journalist assumed was the President of
the Czech Republic), Liu said China follows this information
closely. China welcomes world leaders to come to the Olympics, but
hopes that leaders will follow the Olympic charter and not take any
actions to damage bilateral relations. Asked how many leaders are
coming to the Olympics, Liu said the number is changing but between
80 and 90 are expected.

New U.S. Embassy
----------------

11. China congratulates the United States on the construction of its
new Embassy, Liu said. He noted that China just completed its own
new Embassy in Washington, DC. The new buildings symbolize the
expansion of bilateral relations.

Russian Passport Confiscation?
------------------------------

12. Asked a question about Russian tourists having their passports
confiscated on Hainan Island to prevent them from traveling around
China because of Olympics security, Liu said that he had not heard
the reports, but doubted the information was true. He added that
China welcomes foreign tourists, including Russians, and that the
Provincial Government of Hainan facilitates many tourists.

No Comment on New Zealand PM Remarks on Death Penalty
--------------------------------------------- --------

13. The spokesperson did not respond to a question about reports of
a New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark's statement that she
"doesn't want any executions anywhere," and her signing of an
Amnesty International petition calling for human rights in China.

Hu to Meet Journalists
----------------------

14. President Hu is scheduled to meet with journalists August 1 in
advance of the Olympics, Liu said.

BEIJING 00002964 003 OF 003

Visit: Earthquake Children; Sung Kim
------------------------------------

15. VISITS: One hundred middle and primary school students from the
earthquake-stricken city of Wenchuan, Sichuan will visit Hungary and
Bulgaria August 24-25 "to convalesce." Hungary and Bulgaria were
among the first nations to establish diplomatic relations with China
and this activity shows the friendship that exists between them and
China, Liu said. Separately, Liu announced that U.S. "expert" Sung
Kim will arrive in China today to exchange views with Chinese
officials on the Six Party Talks.

RANDT

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