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Cablegate: 11/6 Mfa Press Briefing: U.S. Election/White House

VZCZCXRO5080
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #4155/01 3112301
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 062301Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0770
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 4739
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 9143
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4667
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0441

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 004155

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON EFIN PHUM KIPR KS KN BM RU BG IN
TW, CH
SUBJECT: 11/6 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: U.S. ELECTION/WHITE HOUSE
TRANSITION, TAIWAN, SIX PARTY-TALKS, TRADE DEFICIT, SED, G-20
SUMMIT, OTHER ISSUES

1. Key points at the November 6 afternoon MFA press briefing were:


-- China's leaders have congratulated President-elect Obama on his
victory and China will work to help ensure smooth bilateral
relations during the transition to the next administration.

-- Taiwan is the most sensitive of the U.S-China bilateral issues,
and proper handling of the issue is the "political foundation for
U.S.-China relations."

-- China acknowledges the U.S-China trade deficit, but China and its
currency policy are not to blame.

-- China hopes for the long-term institutionalization of the
Strategic Economic Dialogue.

-- The industrialized countries should promote the development of a
"fair, reasonable and inclusive" international financial system.

-- China has always believed that the creation of a global missile
defense system is "not good" for strategic balance and mutual trust


White House Transition and U.S.-China Relations
--------------------------------------------- --

2. Asked about the recent election of Barack Obama as the next
President of the United States, MFA Spokesperson Qin Gang responded
that China's leaders had sent their congratulations to the
President-elect. He said that China attaches great importance to
U.S.-China relations and that China is willing to help ensure smooth
bilateral relations during the transition. China is maintaining a
"positive" attitude on the next administration.

3. Qin said that strong U.S.-China relations are in the interest of
both countries and the world, and that the two sides cooperate on
emerging challenges such as the financial crisis, energy and food
security, climate change and non-proliferation. The two sides have
"scored major achievements" through cooperation. China is prepared
to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation with the next
administration to "properly handle some sensitive issues."

Taiwan
------

4. The most sensitive U.S.-China issue, Qin said, is Taiwan. China
hopes the United States will oppose Taiwan independence and adhere
to the Three Joint Communiques and the "one-China Principle." He
added that the proper handling of the Taiwan issue is the "political
foundation for U.S.-China relations."

Currency Policy
---------------

5. In response to a question on whether China expects the Obama
Administration to increase pressure on China to allow the renminbi
(RMB) to appreciate, Qin stated that the goal of China's currency
policy is to realize a floating exchange rate according to market
mechanisms, but that China's policy must be in the interest of China
and of the world economy. He said the growth of U.S.-China trade in
the last thirty years has been beneficial for the United States as
well as China, and encouraged critics of China's currency policy to
"understand trade correctly." He acknowledged the trade deficit
China enjoys with the United States, but said that China and its
currency policy are not to blame. He added that China welcomes
further imports and investment from the United States, and said that
the United States should lift export protections on more
high-technology items to improve the balance of trade. He said that
the exchange rate of the RMB is not rigid and the currency has
appreciated over the last few years.

SED/G-20
--------

6. Responding to a question on President Obama's possible
participation in the up-coming Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED),
Qin said that the SED is very important to China and he hopes for
the long-term institutionalization of the mechanism. Asked if
President Hu Jintao will meet Obama at the November 15 G-20 summit
in Washington, Qin said that specific arrangements are under
discussion. He expressed hope that the U.S. free trade policy would
continue given its mutually beneficial contribution to both
countries.

IMF Proposal on the G-8

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-----------------------

7. Asked about a recent IMF proposal to expand the G-8 to include
more countries, including China, Qin said that the international
community must work together to deal with the current economic
crisis given its global nature. In the long-term, the international
financial system should be reformed to ensure long-term development
of the world economy. To realize this reform, Qin said, requires
"full and democratic" consultations among stakeholders, especially
given the increasing importance of developing countries in the world
economy. The developed world should not reduce assistance to
developing countries as a result of the current crisis and should
promote the development of a "fair, reasonable and inclusive"
international financial system. On the G-8 proposal, Qin asserted
that China plays an important role in the world economy, and
expressed hope that the G-8 would consider the needs of all
developing countries.

Ambassador's IPR Roundtable
---------------------------

8. On the Ambassador's up-coming IPR roundtable, Qin said he was
unaware of the event, but said that China takes the protection of
IPR seriously and the issue forms an important part of U.S.-China
cooperation. He said that China is aware of U.S. concerns over IPR
in China, noting that China has taken measures to strengthen IPR
enforcement.

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

9. Asked how China will maintain progress on the Six-Party process
during the upcoming transition in Washington, Qin said that China
believes the next administration will have views on the Six Party
talks similar to the current administration, adding that China is
ready to continue consultations with the United States and will
"listen to U.S. suggestions and ideas" on moving forward.

India
-----

10. Asked about recent reports that the Indian Foreign Minister
recently called China a new strategic challenge to India, Qin said
that China's development is peaceful, and that both Chinese and
Indian leaders agree that China and India are partners and not
rivals.

Bangladesh/Burma Conflict
-------------------------

11. Asked what role China would play amid rising tensions between
Bangladesh and Burma, Qin said that China has noted the dispute.
China is a good neighbor and has an important role to play in the
region. He expressed hope that the two sides would maintain
stability and resolve the conflict through consultations.

Ma Ying-jeou/Chen Yunlin Meeting, Dalai Lama
--------------------------------------------

12. Asked if Chen Yunlin's meeting with Ma Ying-jeou in Ma's
capacity as President constitutes a recognition of Ma's role as the
"President of Taiwan," Qin referred the questioner to the Taiwan
Affairs Council.

13. Qin also declined to answer a question about meetings between
the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese government,
stressing that the Foreign Ministry does not handle the issue.

Russia Missile Deployment
-------------------------

14. On China's views on Russia's announcement that it will deploy
missiles to Kaliningrad, Qin said that China has always believed
that the creation of a global missile defense system is "not good"
for strategic balance and mutual trust. He added that the "relevant
country" should consider the "other country's" concerns.

Embassy-Sponsored Mock Election Event
-------------------------------------

15. Asked for a comment on the Embassy's mock election outreach
event held on Election Day, given that Chinese are not able to vote
for their own leadership, Qin said he was unaware of the event, but
added that most Chinese citizens "have more important things to
worry about." He added that Chinese had numerous television
programs available to them on the election.

BEIJING 00004155 003 OF 003

RANDT

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