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Cablegate: Shanghai Cppcc Chair Defends City's Food Safety Record;

VZCZCXRO8060
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHGH #0412/01 2660915
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220915Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7186
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2140
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1229
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1424
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 1395
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1579
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 1418
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 7773

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SHANGHAI 000412

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT ALSO FOR EAP PDAS DAVIES
DEPT ALSO FOR EAP/CM SHEAR, THORNTON, FLATT
DEPT ALSO FOR EAP/PD GALT, EMMONS
DEPT ALSO FOR L/EMP BROOKS
DEPT ALSO FOR ECA ROMANOWSKI, KORYCKI
HHS ALSO FOR FDA
NSC FOR WINTER, LOI
USDOC FOR ITA DAS KASOFF, ITA/MAC/OCEA PRUITT
USDOC FOR DG FOREIGN COMMERCIAL SERVICE HERNANDEZ
TREASURY FOR OASIA DOHNER, HAARSAGER, CUSHMAN, WINSHIP
TREASURY FOR DCOS TAIYA SMITH, AMBASSADOR HOLMER, DAN WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV EAGR PREL BEXP ETRD CH
SUBJECT: SHANGHAI CPPCC CHAIR DEFENDS CITY'S FOOD SAFETY RECORD;
LOOKS TO U.S. FOR HELP ON WORLD EXPO

REF: A. (A) BEIJING 3635
B. (B) SHANGHAI 391

(U) This cable is sensitive but unclassified and for official
use only. Not for distribution outside of USG channels or via
the internet.

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) Feng Guoqin, Chairman of the Shanghai Committee of the
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC),
defended Shanghai's food safety record during an introductory
call by the Consul General on September 22, stating that
inspection teams are working to ensure that dairy products in
the city are safe. While acknowledging the negative attention
generated by the food safety scandal, Feng said he hopes other
news from China is attracting positive coverage in the United
States, and, like other municipal leaders, he highlighted the
Shanghai 2010 World Expo as an opportunity for further
U.S.-China cooperation. Delegates at the Shanghai Committee of
the CPPCC first proposed in 1992 that the city bid to host the
World Expo, and Feng said the CPPCC will play a greater role as
a government advisory body on economic, political, cultural, and
environmental issues in the future. End Summary.

Shanghai's Concerns Over Food Safety Scandal
--------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Chinese citizens are concerned about the reports of
tainted milk, and Shanghainese are "indignant" about food safety
lapses, Feng told the Consul General on September 22. Milk
produced in Shanghai remains safe, Feng insisted, singling out
Guangming (Bright) Dairy products available in Shanghai stores
as being free from melamine even though traces have been found
in the brand elsewhere.

3. (SBU) In response to the Consul General's question about
testing milk products, Feng stated that the Shanghai Municipal
Government considers food safety a top priority, and there
currently are more than 40 inspection teams working in Shanghai
to ensure all milk available on the shelves is safe. Feng added
that he helped Shanghai implement a supply chain tracing system
for food products that uses bar codes when he was Vice Mayor in
1998 based on a system he had seen when visiting a U.S. company
the previous year.

4. (SBU) Feng hopes that, despite current food safety problems,
Americans will have a more positive view of China. The
U.S.-China relationship is at its "best and most stable" point
in recent history, and he believes the U.S.-China relationship,
as well as the United States' relationship with Shanghai, will
improve greatly in the next few years. The Consul General
replied that the recent Beijing Olympics contributed to
Americans' generally positive view of China, while the growing
number of U.S. students in China shows American interest in the
country and culture.

Great Expectations for World Expo
---------------------------------

5. (SBU) Looking forward to future U.S.-China exchanges, Feng
echoed the sentiments previously expressed by other municipal
officials (Ref B), stating his hope that the U.S. Pavilion for
the Shanghai 2010 World Expo would be a highlight of the Expo.
The relationship between the Shanghai and American business
communities is extremely close, with combined investments in the

SHANGHAI 00000412 002 OF 002


tens of billions of dollars, Feng said, and commercial
relationships will have grown stronger by 2010. Feng said
Chinese visa issue restrictions would not limit U.S. involvement
in the Expo as they constrained attendance at the Beijing
Olympics, stating that the six-month length of the Expo,
security advances made by 2010, and the differences between
Shanghai and Beijing all would make foreign participation easier.

6. (SBU) Feng claimed that the Shanghai Committee of the CPPCC
was instrumental in bringing the World Expo to Shanghai, first
proposing in 1992 that the city host the Expo. He claimed that
Shanghai CPPCC members also were the first to float proposals
for the Pudong New Area (in 1981, nine years before it was
launched) and Shanghai's Yangshan Deep Water Seaport. The high
education level of CPPCC members leads to high quality
proposals, Feng said.

CPPCC on Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment
--------------------------------------------- -------

7. (SBU) Proposals from the national CPPCC, as well as from the
Shanghai CPPCC, cover the waterfront of issues that are
important to the Communist Party of China (CPC), Feng said. He
stated that the CPPCC will become more important in the future
because of the Central Government's focus on Hu Jintao's
Scientific Development Concept and the balance between economic,
political, cultural, and environmental problems. The Shanghai
Consular Corps can expect a CPPCC briefing on its expanding role
before year's end. The Shanghai CPPCC serves as a "big
thinktank" to the Municipal Government, Feng said, and its 809
members submitted 854 proposals, some of which were "forward
thinking and visionary" during the "Two Meetings" (Lianghui) in
January 2008.

Meeting Participants
--------------------

8. (SBU)

Chinese Participants:

Feng Guoqin, Chairman of CPPCC Shanghai Committee
Chen Haigang, CPPCC Shanghai Committee Secretary General
Guan Weiyong, CPPCC Shanghai Committee Standing Committee
Member, Deputy Secretary-General and Director of the General
Office
Wang Junwei, CPPCC Shanghai Committee Foreign Affairs Office
Chen Yanhua, Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office
Evan Liu, Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office

U.S. Participants:

Beatrice Camp, Consul General
Simon Schuchat, Deputy Principal Officer
Christopher Beede, Pol/Econ Chief
Matt Murray, Political Officer (Notetaker)
Fei Yuying, Consulate Interpreter
CAMP

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