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Cablegate: Labor Secretary Chao Meets Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong,

VZCZCXRO1153
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3343/01 2412256
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 282256Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9609
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003343

DEPT PASS USTR FOR KARESH, ROSENBERG, STRATFORD, LEE
LABOR FOR ILAB AND OSEC
TREAS FOR OASIA/ISA-CUSHMAN
USDOC FOR 4420/ITA/MAC/MCQUEEN AND DAS KASOFF

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PREL OVIP PGOV KOLY CH
SUBJECT: LABOR SECRETARY CHAO MEETS BEIJING MAYOR GUO JINLONG,
AUGUST 26, 2008

(U) This cable is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (U) August 26, 2008; 11:00; Beijing Municipal Government North
Building.

2. (U) Participants:

United States:

Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao
Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr.
Associate Deputy Secretary of Labor Anna Hui
Dr. James Chao
Michael Crain, U.S. Embassy Beijing
Dan Kritenbrink (Embassy notetaker)
Jim Brown, interpreter

PRC:

Beijing Mayor GUO Jinlong
YANG Shuyin, Director, Beijing Foreign Affairs Office
ZHANG Xingqing, Director, Beijing Municipality Labor Bureau
ZHANG Yali, Director General, MOHRSS
ZHAO Hui, MOHRSS (interpreter)

Summary
-------

3. (SBU) Beijing Mayor GUO Jinlong warmly welcomed Secretary of
Labor Elaine L. Chao and thanked her for leading the U.S.
Presidential Delegation to the Olympics Closing Ceremony. The Games
left a "precious legacy" for both Beijing and China that had
"showcased" the achievements of the PRC's opening and reform drive
and that will continue to benefit the city's development. Passing
the Olympic flag to IOC President Jacques Rogge at the August 24
Closing Ceremony was "deeply moving," Mayor Guo said, noting that in
doing so China "fulfilled its commitments" made when it was awarded
the right to host the Games seven years ago. Beijing nevertheless
still faces the task of hosting the September Paralympic Games.
Secretary Chao complimented Mayor Guo on a successful Olympics,
noting the impressive job the Mayor, his staff and the people of
Beijing had done in staging the Games. In particular, Secretary
Chao said she heard reports that the massive Beijing construction
efforts for the Olympics had proceeded smoothly and that the city
had strengthened enforcement of wage, health and safety standards on
the construction sites. The Mayor thanked Secretary Chao for her
comments but said Beijing still has "a long way to go," as it
remains the capital of a developing country. Noting Secretary
Chao's "very important position" as the first Asian American woman,
and the first Chinese American, to be a member of a President's
cabinet, Mayor Guo said he would welcome the Secretary to share her
experiences, comments and advice with the Beijing Municipal
Government at anytime as a means of enhancing exchanges between
China and the United States. End Summary.

Warm Welcome
------------

4. (SBU) Beijing Mayor GUO Jinlong warmly welcomed visiting
Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao to the Beijing Municipal
Government offices on August 26, thanking her for leading the U.S.
Presidential Delegation to the August 24 Olympics Closing Ceremony.
Mayor Guo expressed pleasure at learning that Secretary Chao's
father, Dr. James Chao, had traveled to China with her. Secretary
Chao, accompanied by Ambassador Randt, noted that she was pleased to
see Mayor Guo again, following their initial meeting at the August
24 luncheon hosted by President Hu Jintao.

Olympics: China's Commitments Fulfilled
----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Reflecting on the just-completed Olympics, Mayor Guo said
the Games had left behind a "precious legacy" for Beijing and all of
China. The Games "spread the Olympic spirit," helped enhance
China's friendship with the world's peoples and showcased the
achievements of China's opening and reform drive. Beijing's urban
planning and development also benefited from the Games, and the
Olympics' impact will continue to be "instrumental" for the city's
future development.

6. (SBU) Passing the Olympic flag to IOC President Jacques Rogge at

BEIJING 00003343 002 OF 002


the August 24 Closing Ceremony was "deeply moving," Mayor Guo said,
noting that in doing so he felt China "fulfilled its commitments"
made seven years when it was awarded the right to host the Games.
Hosting the Olympics is an aspiration the Chinese people have held
for more than a century. When it was selected as the host city,
Beijing was already well aware that the Olympics belong not just to
China but to all the world's peoples. Over the past seven years,
due to the resolute leadership of the Central Government and the
generous support of Chinese people both on the Mainland and abroad,
China diligently prepared for the Games and "fulfilled its
commitments to the international community," successfully
endeavoring to hold a green, high-tech, people's Olympics designed
to satisfy the international community, the athletes and the general
public.

7. (SBU) Beijing still faces the task of hosting a successful
Paralympic Games in September, Mayor Guo said, explaining that the
Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games(BOCOG) held a
meeting that very morning to discuss preparations. Guo said BOCOG
plans to "follow the Olympic spirit" to prepare well for these Games
so as to take good care of both the participating Paralympians and
friends from around the world.

Eyes of the World Upon China
----------------------------

8. (SBU) Secretary Chao complimented Mayor Guo on a successful
Olympics, stating that the Mayor, his staff and the people of
Beijing had done a tremendously impressive job of staging the Games.
The eyes of the entire world have been upon China, and many had
anxiously waited to see whether Beijing could perform under the
"bright lights" of global scrutiny. Mayor Guo and the people of
China deserve great credit for having held very successful Games.
Secretary Chao complimented in particular the work of volunteers in
Beijing. Noting that the Mayor previously said he expected the
Games would improve the civility and manners of the population,
Secretary Chao said she could attest personally to the friendliness
and excellent English ability of the volunteers. A group from
Kentucky, the Secretary's home state, had traveled to China for the
first time to help out at the USA House in Beijing, and its members
had been deeply impressed by the hospitality of all the Chinese
people with whom they met, the Secretary noted.

9. (SBU) Secretary Chao said she also understood that Beijing's
construction efforts had proceeded smoothly and that the city had
created rigorous wage, health and safety conditions. Achieving
praise in this sector is no easy task, the Secretary stated.
Secretary Chao also noted the very impressive Closing Ceremony,
commenting that in handing over the Olympic flag, Beijing has set a
very high standard for London to meet.

Beijing: "Still Developing"
----------------------------

10. (SBU) Mayor Guo thanked Secretary Chao for her comments on the
Games but replied that Beijing still has "a long way to go," as it
remains the capital city of a developing country. With a total
population of 16 million, Beijing possesses a per capita GDP of USD
7,654 as of 2007. Thus, Beijing is still "in the process" of
developing, but it will build upon the legacy of the Olympics and,
following the guidance of the "Scientific Development Concept," will
strive to become a metropolis that is prosperous, harmonious and
environmentally friendly.

Secretary Chao's Important Position
-----------------------------------

11. (SBU) Mayor Guo said Secretary Chao is in a "very important
position" as the first Asian American woman, and the first Chinese
American, to be a member of a United States President's cabinet.
The Mayor said he would welcome Secretary Chao to share her
experiences, comments and advice with the Beijing Municipal
Government at anytime as a means of enhancing exchanges between
China and the United States.

12. (U) Secretary Chao cleared this message.

RANDT

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