Cablegate: U.S. Presidential Paralympics Delegation Meeting With
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SUBJECT: U.S. Presidential Paralympics Delegation Meeting with
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping
(U) This cable is Sensitive But Unclassified. Please protect
1. (U) September 8, 2008; 10:40 am; Diaoyutai State Guesthouse,
2. (U) Participants:
Secretary of Veterans Affairs James B. Peake
Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr.
Kirk Bauer, Executive Director, Disabled Sports USA
Jean Driscoll, Paralympic Gold Medalist
LTC. Gregory Gadson, United States Army
Kevin Szott, Paralympic Gold Medalist
Trischa Zorn, Paralympic Gold Medalist
Michael Crain, U.S. Embassy Beijing
Eric Barboriak, Embassy Political Officer (notetaker)
Jim Brown, interpreter
Vice President Xi Jinping
Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei
Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi
Director General Zheng Zeguang, MFA North American and Oceanian
Deputy Director General Deng Hongbo, MFA North American and Oceanian
Assistant to Vice President Xi Jinping Zhong Shaojun
Zhang Yu, interpreter
3. (SBU) Vice President Xi Jinping said the attendance of U.S.
Presidential Delegations to the Olympic and Paralympic Games
demonstrates U.S. support for China's efforts to host these events.
Secretary Peake congratulated China on hosting the Paralympics and
offered condolences for the loss of life and property in the
aftermath of the May 12 earthquake centered in Sichuan Province.
Vice President Xi stated that China's successful hosting of the
Paralympics should have a positive effect on the situation of people
with disabilities in China. Both the United States and China should
adhere to the three Sino-American communiques and must "properly
handle sensitive issues and issues of concern to both sides" so that
U.S.-China relations will continue to prosper, Vice President Xi
said. Taiwan "is the core issue of our bilateral relationship."
Noting that we are "now at a critical juncture" and that
cross-Strait relations are moving in a positive direction, Vice
President Xi stated that China hopes the United States does not sell
advanced weapons to Taiwan, and that Taiwan should not join
international organizations where state sovereignty is a
prerequisite. End Summary.
Olympics Congratulations/Earthquake Condolences
4. (SBU) In his welcoming remarks, Vice President Xi stated that
President Bush's attendance with his family at the Olympics Opening
Ceremony, the attendance of the Presidential Delegation led by
Secretary of Labor Chao at the Olympics Closing Ceremony, and the
participation of the Presidential Delegation led by Secretary Peake
in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony demonstrate the support of the
U.S. Government and the American people for China's efforts in
hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, support that China very
much appreciates. Vice President Xi offered condolences for loss of
life and property and encouragement in rebuilding in the aftermath
of Hurricane Gustav.
5. (SBU) Secretary Peake complimented the Chinese Government on
hosting a magnificent Opening Ceremony and said the Chinese
Government can be rightfully proud of its efforts in hosting the
Paralympic Games. Secretary Peake offered "condolences and
congratulations" on China's efforts to deal with the May 12 Sichuan
earthquake, adding that both countries have faced major challenges
from natural disasters.
6. (SBU) Vice President Xi stated that the Chinese Government and
people appreciate the good wishes and assistance offered by the
United States and its people in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake.
He said that China "has won victory in the first stage of work" in
rescue and disaster assistance and now is in the midst of organizing
a post-earthquake rebuilding plan that should be completed within
three years. Vice President Xi pointed out that because China must
deal with typhoons four to five times per year, it has accumulated
experience and knowledge that may be helpful to the United States in
dealing with the effects of hurricanes, adding that the United
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States and China should exchange information and develop cooperation
in this area.
Meaning of the Olympics and Paralympics
7. (SBU) Vice President Xi said that China's success in hosting the
Olympics is in promoting the Olympic Spirit. By fulfilling China's
100-year-old dream to host the Olympics, China not only hosted a
sports event, but provided an opportunity for the world to build
mutual understanding. He said that China's goal is to host the
Olympic and Paralympic Games with "equal splendor." Vice President
Xi said that the Olympic Spirit stresses "peace and progress," but
the Paralympic Spirit stresses "humanitarianism and care for
people." He said the success of the Paralympic Games should promote
efforts to improve the life of people with disabilities.
Situation of Disability in China
8. (SBU) Vice President Xi said that 83 million of the over 600
million people with disabilities in the world live in China. Though
China made great efforts in the lead-up to the Paralympic Games, it
must do more to help people with disabilities. A successful
Paralympic Games will play an important role in raising the general
public's awareness of disability issues, which, he said, should help
open a "new chapter" for people with disabilities in China. During
visits in Beijing, he said he witnessed "obvious changes" and
improvements in the situation of the disabled, noting many
community-based approaches and the involvement of over 100
organizations in helping people with disabilities.
9. (SBU) Vice President Xi noted that China has been sending teams
to participate in the Paralympic Games since 1982, and in the Athens
Games, China achieved great success, winning the most overall and
gold medals. He hopes that such success continues in the Beijing
Paralympic Games and that the "never give up" and "self-supporting"
attitude of the Paralympic athletes will be an inspiration to people
with disabilities and the rest of society. Vice President Xi wished
success to the U.S. team and noted already the stiff competition
during the events has resulted in China not winning a number of
events it had been expected to dominate.
10. (SBU) Secretary Peake agreed that the Paralympic Games set an
important example that demonstrates individuals can rise above
disability and be successful in achievements, adding that he is
particularly impressed by the performance of the 300 Chinese
athletes participating in the Games.
11. (SBU) Vice President Xi stated that U.S.-China relations have
been growing steadily and that the two sides have kept "in close
contact" through many high-level visits and working-level exchanges.
He said the Senior Dialogue and Strategic Economic Dialogue have
"produced good results" and helped to expand bilateral cooperation.
Vice President Xi noted that the two sides have had "effective
consultation" on international and regional issues, including the
Six-Party process and consultations on Iran. He said the United
States and China have treated each other as "partners" on trade and
12. (SBU) China attaches great importance to a "constructive,
cooperative" relationship with the United States, and "now, at this
critical juncture," both sides must remain committed to enhancing
bilateral ties through adherence to the three communiques, Vice
President Xi said. In addition, the United States and China must
"properly handle sensitive issues and issues of concern to both
sides." Through this approach, the United States and China will
have a "stable, sound, continuously-growing and dynamic"
13. (SBU) Vice President Xi said Taiwan "is the core issue of our
bilateral relationship." He noted positive developments in
cross-Strait relations and said that China is working to solve
problems and issues through "practical means." The promotion of
people-to-people, cultural and economic exchanges has been effective
in improving cross-Strait relations, which he said, are "heading in
a direction" that serves to maintain peace and stability across the
Strait and in the Asia-Pacific region.
14. (SBU) Vice President Xi said the PRC's one China policy is
unchanged and that China appreciates that the United States has
maintained its commitment to the one China policy and the three
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communiques. He stated that Taiwan should not be allowed to join
international organizations for which state sovereignty is a
prerequisite, a position China has stated repeatedly. "In no way,"
he added, should "a wrong signal be sent to Taiwan independence
supporters and separatists" on this issue. Vice President Xi said
China hopes the United States will not sell advanced weapons to
Taiwan. By adhering to this approach, he said, U.S.-China bilateral
relations will grow in a manner that serves the interests of both
peoples and the interests of stability in the world.
15. (U) The delegation cleared on this cable.