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Cablegate: December 9 Mfa Press Briefing Highlights: Wen's

O 091124Z DEC 03
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4761
INFO AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
AMEMBASSY BERLIN
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
AMCONSUL SHENYANG
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
AMCONSUL CHENGDU
AIT TAIPEI 7358
JICPAC HONOLULU HI
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
USMISSION GENEVA
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

UNCLAS BEIJING 018021


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM ETRD CH KN
SUBJECT: DECEMBER 9 MFA PRESS BRIEFING HIGHLIGHTS: WEN'S
U.S. VISIT, SIX-PARTY TALKS, SINO-GERMAN PLUTONIUM
REPROCESSING PLANT PURCHASE AND CIRF'S POSTPONED VISIT

Summary
-------

1. At the regular semi-weekly press briefing, MFA
Spokesperson Liu Jianchao reported on statements made
by Premier Wen Jiabao that the objective of his U.S.
visit is to "resolve problems" in bilateral relations
and not to "engage in trade wars." While asserting
that common interests have "outweighed" disagreements
between China and the United States, Liu called on
Washington to "adhere to its promises" with regard to
a "one-China" policy and to oppose Taiwan
independence. He remarked that the countries involved
in the six-party talks on the DPRK nuclear issue have
made "positive statements" aimed at promoting a
peaceful resolution to the issue but that these
countries should "do more" to continue the talks.
Commenting on the reported German agreement to sell a
plutonium reprocessing plant to China, Liu maintained
that this project would improve the performance of
China's nuclear power facilities and that the purpose
of such a sale is non-military in nature. He claimed
that the U.S. Commission on International Religious
Freedom (CIRF) postponed its visit to China because
the group proposed "an addition" to the schedule that
could not be accepted by both the PRC and the United
States. Israeli President Moshe Katzav will visit
China from December 14-20, Liu announced. End
Summary.

Wen's U.S. Visit
----------------

2. Questions on Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the
United States dominated the press briefing. MFA
Spokesperson Liu Jianchao reported that in a speech to
members of the U.S. business community, Premier Wen
asserted that U.S.-China trade relations have formed a
strong basis for the development of bilateral ties.
Wen stated that the two countries should handle trade
matters, in particular the RMB revaluation issue, in a
"strategic way" and should not allow such disputes to
affect bilateral trade relations, according to Liu.
Wen stressed that the objective of his U.S. visit is
to "resolve problems" and not to "engage in trade
wars," Liu stated. Wen met with UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan and discussed UN reform, Iraq, the DPRK
nuclear issue and the Middle East, Liu observed. Wen
plans to meet also with President Bush, Vice President
Cheney, Congressional representatives and Federal
Reserve Chairman Greenspan, Liu noted.

3. Queried by a CNN correspondent about the factors
behind recent improvements in U.S.-China relations,
Liu responded that common interests and cooperation in
a number of areas, such as counterterrorism, AIDS and
environmental protection, have "outweighed"
differences between the two countries. Beijing
insists, nevertheless, that Washington "adhere to its
promises" and maintain a "clear stance" with regard to
a "one-China" policy, the three joint communiques and
opposition to "Taiwan independence." Citing Wen's
recent remarks on Taiwan, Liu said that China would
make every effort to resolve the issue peacefully.

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

4. Responding to a question from a China Daily
reporter, Liu stated that the countries involved in
the six-party talks on the DPRK nuclear issue have
made "positive statements" aimed at promoting a
peaceful resolution of the issue. Beijing is making
efforts to "create conditions" for "substantive"
discussions during a second round of six-party talks,

Liu asserted. China has issued a proposal on
convening a second round of six-party talks, and the
United States, the ROK, Russia and Japan have
expressed their views, he said, adding that these
countries have different views on some issues and
similar views on others. Liu remarked, however, that
setting up six-party talks is a "complicated process"
and that participating countries should "do more" to
promote a second round. Asked by a Japanese reporter
about dates for a econd round of talks, Liu replied
that the dates depend on the course of preparations
for the talks. In response to a question from AFP,
Liu confirmed that MFA Asian Affairs Department
Director General Fu Ying met with an EU delegation in
Beijing on December 8. Noting that DG Fu briefed the
delegation on preparations for a second round of six-
party talks, Liu remarked that China supports the EU's
role in promoting a resolution to the DPRK nuclear
issue.

Sino-German Deal on a Plutonium Processing Plant
--------------------------------------------- ---

5. Responding to questions from a German news
correspondent on a reported German agreement to sell a
plutonium reprocessing plant to China, Liu remarked
that the issue has been "exaggerated" by the media.
He stated that a Chinese company is negotiating with
the German company Siemens to buy a plant designed to
extract MOX, an "oxide fuel used by nuclear power
plants." Stressing that over 30 countries use MOX in
their production of nuclear power, Liu maintained that
this project would improve the performance of China's
nuclear power facilities and that the proposed deal is
non-military in nature.

CIRF Visit Postponed
--------------------

6. Asked by VOA about the reported postponement of a
planned visit by the U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom (CIRF), Liu responded that China
welcomes the group's visit. He alleged that prior to
CIRF's departure, CIRF proposed "an addition" to the
schedule. Because the PRC and the United States could
not agree on the final schedule, CIRF postponed its
visit to China, Liu claimed. Beijing "regrets" CIRF's
decision, he concluded.

Visit by Israeli President
--------------------------

7. Israeli President Moshe Katzav will visit China
from December 14-20 at the invitation of President Hu
Jintao, Liu announced. Katzav will meet with
President Hu, NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen
Jiabao and will also stop in Hong Kong, Liu noted.

MARINE

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