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Cablegate: October 28 Mfa Press Briefing: Sudan Hostage Crisis, Syria

VZCZCXRO7222
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHPOD RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #4078/01 3022247
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 282247Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0651
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0332
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0236
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0444

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 004078

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PBTS PHUM PTER ECON EFIN SU SY KN
SUBJECT: OCTOBER 28 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: SUDAN HOSTAGE CRISIS, SYRIA
STIKES, FINANCIAL SUMMIT, DALAI LAMA

1. Key points at the October 28 afternoon MFA press briefing were:


-- China condemns the killing of five kidnapped Chinese citizens in
a rescue attempt by the Sudanese government.

-- China "opposes any deed which harms another country's sovereignty
and territorial integrity," said the spokesperson in reference to
the reported U.S. military strike on Syrian soil.

-- China "has received and is considering" the U.S. invitation to
attend a summit meeting on the financial crisis and would like to
see participation by developing countries.

-- China hopes that the Dalai Lama will "better understand the
situation, demonstrate sincerity and do something good for his
people during his lifetime."


Sudan Hostage Crisis
-------------------------

2. Five Chinese citizens were killed, two were rescued and two are
missing in Sudan, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson
Jiang Yu at the October 28 regularly scheduled press briefing. The
five victims, all of whom were employees of the China National
Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), were killed during a Sudanese
government rescue attempt, said Jiang. Jiang indicated that
President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao themselves had followed
events in the Sudan closely and had directed the MFA to work closely
with the Sudanese. China expresses its "grave condolences" to the
five victims, "sympathy" to their families and "strong condemnation"
to the kidnappers over the killings. CNPC and the Chinese Embassy
in Sudan will form a "joint group" focused on the aftermath of the
crisis. China "values" its relationship with Sudan and "requests
the government of Sudan to guarantee the safety of foreigners,
including Chinese" in Sudan. China's cooperation with Sudan "will
continue." Asked whether China had been informed of or took part in
the rescue attempt, Jiang only said that China and Sudan had "close
cooperation" in trying to resolve the crisis.

3. The spokesperson emphasized China's role in Sudan's development
noting that "many Chinese not-for-profit organizations are in
Sudan." China also "plays an important role in promoting local
people's well-being and economic development." China is also
willing to work with the international community to promote peace in
Sudan. China's involvement in Sudan is "on the basis of "mutual
benefit and joint development," Jiang added.

Syria Strikes
-------------

4. Asked to comment on reported U.S. military strikes on targets in
Syria, Jiang said that China "opposes any deed which harms another
country's sovereignty and territorial integrity." Asked whether
these comments referred specifically to the U.S. strike, Jiang said
that they did. Jiang added that "relevant parties should properly
handle this case to safeguard peace and stability in the Middle
East."

Financial Crisis and Summit
---------------------------

5. China "has received and is considering" the U.S. invitation to
attend a summit meeting on the financial crisis, said Jiang. China
also "hopes that relevant parties will pragmatically and effectively
solve this and future financial crises." China would like to see
the summit "develop an equal, mutually beneficial global partnership
and make a contribution in safeguarding the financial markets and
promoting world economic development." The recent crisis has
"exposed the deficiencies and defects in the international financial
system," said Jiang. The international community should "conduct
effective and comprehensive reform of the international financial
system on the basis of full consultation with all stake holders to
ensure the stable development of the world economy." China would
like to "increase the representation of developing countries and
give them a bigger say" in the discussions," said the spokesperson.

Dalai Lama
----------

6. The specifics of the next round of talks with the Dalai Lama are
still "under discussion," said Jiang. The Chinese policy toward the
Dalai Lama is "consistent and sincere." China hopes that through
the discussions the Dalai Lama will "better understand the
situation, demonstrate sincerity and do something good for his
people during his lifetime." Jiang said that China has "taken note
of some remarks made by the Dalai side" a likely reference to the

BEIJING 00004078 002 OF 002


Dalai Lama's recent comments that he has lost faith in negotiations
with the Chinese. "If Dalai wishes to improve relations with the
Central Government he should fulfill the commitment he made in
July," said Jiang.

Food Safety
-----------

7. The spokesperson referred reporters to relevant authorities for
questions regarding tainted eggs. Jiang said that China "attaches
great importance to food safety." If any food safety problems are
confirmed "relevant authorities will ask the company to recall the
products," he added.

Green Energy
------------

8. Asked to comment on recent NGO reports calling on China to
improve energy efficiency, Jiang said that the NGOs may "not have
been aware of China's energy policy." China has issued a new energy
law which encourages the development of green energy, said Jiang.
China also "attaches importance to the clean use of coal." Jiang
called on the international community to work together to improve
energy efficiency.

Ivory Sales
-----------

9. Jiang had not heard reports of ivory sales by China in South
Africa, but said that China adheres to all of its international
obligations to protect endangered animals and has been recognized
for its efforts.

Kim Jong-Il
-----------

10. The spokesperson had not seen reports that Kim Jong-Il has been
hospitalized.


PICCUTA

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