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Cablegate: December 2 Mfa Press Briefing: Dalai Lama and France, Sed,

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SUBJECT: DECEMBER 2 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: DALAI LAMA AND FRANCE, SED,
U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS, MUMBAI TERROR ATTACKS, SIX-PARTY TALKS

1. Key points at the December 2 MFA press briefing:

-- French President Nicolas Sarkozy's "insistence on disregarding
Chinese concerns" regarding the Dalai Lama is "affecting relations"
between China and the European Union.

-- China expects the upcoming round of the Strategic Economic
Dialogue will "achieve success" and China is ready to work with the
incoming U.S. administration to strengthen cooperation on trade.

-- It is important to "have dialogue" on areas where China and the
United States have disputes.

-- The recent terror attacks in Mumbai are "shocking" and the
Chinese Government has expressed its "solicitude to the Indian
Government and people."

-- China expects to hold the Six-Party Talks as scheduled on
December 8.

Dalai Lama and European Union
-----------------------------

2. It is "time for France to make the right choice" and "create the
right atmosphere" for a China-European Union Summit said MFA
spokesperson Liu Jianchao at the December 2 MFA press briefing when
asked about French President Nicolas Sarkozy's planned meeting with
the Dalai Lama. Liu said that Sarkozy is "still bent on meeting
with the Dalai Lama" despite China's "clear position." Liu noted
that the delay in the China-EU meeting is "affecting relations" but
this is "the result of the French leader's insistence on
disregarding Chinese concerns." China "attaches great importance"
to its "strategic partnership with France," said Liu. Asked about
calls on the Chinese Internet to boycott French goods, Liu said that
he "hopes citizens will take a calm attitude towards China-France
bilateral relations." Asked about the Dalai Lama's statements that
he would like to visit Taiwan, Liu said "both Taiwan and Tibet are
inalienable parts of Chinese territory" and China "opposes the Dalai
Lama's separatist activity."

Strategic Economic Dialogue
---------------------------

3. China hopes that the United States and China will "have full and
adequate discussions on areas of mutual interest" during the
upcoming Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) and expects that this
round of talks will "achieve success." Facts have "proven that
previous SED rounds have played a positive role in promoting" trade
relations between the two sides, said Liu. China is "ready to work
with the new administration to strengthen cooperation on trade,"
added Liu.

Reaction to Cabinet Picks
------------------------

4. The spokesman referred reporters to Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi's message to President-elect Barack Obama's announced choices
for Secretary of State and National Security Advisor. Yang is
"looking forward to working with both to promote bilateral
relations," said Liu. Asked about Secretary of State-designee
Hillary Clinton's previous criticisms of China, Liu said "it is true
we have some disputes" with the United States, however, it is
important to "have dialogue" on these issues. Regarding Clinton's
previous criticism of the Beijing Olympics Liu noted that the
Beijing Olympics were held successfully and President Bush's
attendance "was a good choice for mutual understanding" between the
two nations.


Mumbai Terror Attacks
---------------------

5. The recent terror attacks in Mumbai are "shocking" and the
Chinese Government has expressed its "solicitude to the Indian
Government and people." Liu noted that investigations into who
perpetrated the attack are ongoing. China is "ready to work with
the international community and India to crack down on terror."

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

6. Asked about the "delay" in the next round of the Six-Party Talks,
Liu said that China had "proposed to host" the next round of Talks
on December 8 and is "waiting for the five other parties" to agree.
China "expects to hold the meetings as scheduled," said Liu.

China-ROK High-Level Strategic Dialogue
---------------------------------------


BEIJING 00004410 002 OF 002


7. The China-South Korea High-Level Strategic Dialogue will be held
in Beijing on Dec 11. The dialogue is "based on the consensus of
the two countries' leaders." The dialogue will serve to "strengthen
communication and coordination" as well as allow a platform for the
"exchange of views."

Thailand Unrest
---------------

8. China expresses "concern" over the situation in Thailand and
"hopes the country returns to social stability and economic
development," said Liu. The spokesman noted that China had arranged
for 3,100 of its citizens to leave Thailand on 11 chartered flights
so far.

Cluster Munitions Ban
---------------------

9. Asked about China's position on cluster munitions, Liu said that
China "takes seriously the humanitarian problems caused by the
misuse of cluster munitions." China has "taken actions to be a
constructive part" of the solution to this problem.

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

10. The spokesman referred reporters to "competent authorities" to
answer a question on the milk crisis. Liu did say, however, that
the "Chinese government took the problem seriously." The problem is
"now basically solved and all sickened babies have been treated."

Belgian Journalist
------------------

11. Asked about a reported case of a Belgian journalist being beaten
in China, Liu said that he had only heard of the case from the
Xinhua News Agency and could not confirm the story. Liu noted that
the journalist could have called local authorities or the MFA to
assist him, but he did not do so. Reporters should "not blindly
blame local authorities" for the incident.

RANDT

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