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Cablegate: October 7 Mfa Press Briefing: Taiwan Arms Sales, Six-Party

VZCZCXRO0074
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3836/01 2811000
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071000Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0314
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003836

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAGR PHUM PTER CH KN JP KS TW

SUBJECT: October 7 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TAIWAN ARMS SALES, SIX-PARTY
TALKS, FINANCIAL CRISIS, GUANTANAMO UIGHURS, KOREAN SEA INCIDENTS,
DALAI LAMA NEGOTIATIONS, MILK CRISIS

1. Key points at the October 7 afternoon MFA press briefing were:

-- The United States' arms sale to Taiwan has "contaminated the
atmosphere" of U.S.-China relations, "gravely jeopardized China's
security" and "created obstacles to exchanges and cooperation" with
the United States.

--"The Six-Party talks have already made much progress and have the
opportunity to make more."

-- China is ready to "work with the international community and
maintain cooperation and communication" to handle the financial
crisis.

-- China urges the United States to repatriate the Chinese citizens
held at Guantanamo "sooner rather than later."

-- The spokesperson acknowledged a "series of sea incidents" off the
Korean Peninsula.

-- The spokesperson had no information about a date for the next
round of talks with the Dalai Lama.

-- The Chinese government "at all levels" has taken the milk crisis
seriously.

-- China's "door is always open" and China will continue to
facilitate the work of reporters.

-- Although the spokesperson did not confirm the exact time for a
meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and Hu Jintao on
the margins of ASEM, he did say that Aso is welcome to visit China.

Taiwan Arms Sale
----------------

2. At the October 7 regular MFA pres briefing, spokesperson Qin
Gang said that the United States "ignored China's strong opposition"
when it decided to sell weapons to Taiwan. The decision has
"contaminated the atmosphere" of relations, "gravely jeopardized
China's security" and "created obstacles to exchanges and
cooperation" with the United States. Qin responded directly to a
statement made by a U.S. Defense Department spokesperson which
referenced the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Qin said that the TRA
"runs against the three communiques between the United States and
China and international norms." The United States "has no right to
place its domestic law over international law," said Qin. Qin said
that the Defense Department spokesperson's characterization of
China's military strength as a destabilizing force is "a fallacy."
China follows "a path of peaceful development" and is a force for
peace in the world which does not seek hegemony over other nations.
China "urges the United States to honor its commitment to the three
communiques, drop the weapons sale and end military relations with
Taiwan in order to avoid damaging China-U.S. relations and
cross-Strait peace." Asked whether the sale would affect
China-Taiwan relations, Qin referred the reporter to the State
Council's Taiwan Affairs Office. Qin referred a question about how
long the sale would affect U.S.-China relations to the Ministry of
National Defense.

Six-Party Talks
----------------

3. Asked whether the Six-Party Talks have achieved a "breakthrough,"
Qin responded saying "the Six-Party talks have already made much
progress and have the opportunity to make more." Qin confirmed that
A/S Christopher Hill briefed VFM Wu Dawei on Hill's visit to North
Korea. Qin said that Hill had "long and substantive" talks while in
North Korea. China would like to see all parties communicate to
"fulfill the second phase of action at an early date."

Financial Crisis
----------------

4. The current financial crisis is "not the problem of one country"
and the international community should "join hands" to deal with the
issue. China is ready to "work with the international community and
maintain cooperation and communication" to handle the crisis. China
has not discussed an Asian summit on the financial crisis with Japan
or Korea; however the three countries should continue their close
coordination and communication.

Guantanamo Uighurs
-----------------

5. Qin said "there are some Chinese terror suspects in Guantanamo"
prisons who are "members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement" and
should be "handed over to China." Terror is "a shared threat" and
there "should not be double standards." China urges the United
State to repatriate these terrorists "sooner rather than later."

BEIJING 00003836 002 OF 002

Sea Accidents
-------------

6. Asked to respond to reports that North Korean ships fired on a
Chinese fishing vessel, wounding its captain and that in a separate
incident South Korean officials have arrested 11 Chinese citizens
for killing a Coast Guard official, Qin said that there have been "a
series of recent sea incidents which China takes seriously."
Without specifying whether the incident involved North or South
Korean vessels, Qin confirmed that a Chinese fishing boat in the
Yellow Sea suffered a collision resulting in the captain being
wounded. The captain has received medical treatment and is
recovering. Qin went on to say that China will "keep communicating
with the relevant country to conduct an investigation" of the
incident. Referring to a separate incident, Qin noted that China
also expresses regret over the death of a South Korean Coast Guard
official and will communicate with the ROK regarding the
investigation.

Negotiations with the Dalai Lama
--------------------------------

7. Asked whether China and the Dalai Lama would hold another round
of negotiations soon, Qin said that the relevant central government
department will announce any information on negotiations. Qin said
that "the Dalai" must make steps to meet the central government's
requirements.

Milk Crisis
-----------

8. Asked for updated figures on the number of babies sickened by
contaminated milk powder, Qin Gang said that the Chinese government
at all levels has taken the milk crisis seriously. After the
problem was discovered, parents were encouraged to have their
infants examined. Treatment for contaminated milk related illness
is free.

Olympic Reporting Rules
-----------------------

9. China's policy of reform and opening will continue even though
the Olympics have ended said Qin in response to a question about the
upcoming expiration of Olympic reporting rules. China's "door is
always open" and China will continue to facilitate the work of
reporters, said Qin.

New Japanese Prime Minister Visit To China
------------------------------------------

10. Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is welcome to visit China at a
time convenient for the two countries, said Qin. China and Japan
are "major neighbors" and "China attaches great importance to
relations," said Qin. The spokesperson did not confirm the exact
time for a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and Hu
Jintao on the margins of ASEM.

Nobel Prize
-----------

11. Asked for China's position on the Nobel Peace Prize, Qin said
that many of the award's recipients worked toward world peace and
the betterment of mankind, however, "others have not followed Mr.
Nobel's original intentions." "The prize should be given to the
right person," said Qin.

SARS a Biological Weapon?
-------------------------

12. Asked to respond to a report that SARS is actually a Chinese
biological weapon, Qin asked who had written such an "irresponsible"
report.

PICCUTA

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