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Cablegate: Dominican Republic: Prc Representative Pushes

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SANTO DOMINGO 006656

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR WHA/CAR, WHA/EPSC, EAP/CM, EAP/TC; STATE PASS
AIT/W; EB/TPP/BTA, EB/IFD/OMA; USCINCSO ALSO FOR POLAD;
USDOC FOR 4322/ITA/MAC/WH/CARIBBEAN BASIN DIVISION
USDOC FOR 3134/ITA/USFCS/RD/WH; DHS FOR CIS-CARLOS ITURREGUI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ETRD EINV PINR CH TW DR
SUBJECT: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: PRC REPRESENTATIVE PUSHES
RECOGNITION

REF: SANTO DOMINGO 6472

1. (SBU) During a courtesy call December 10, the head of the
Santo Domingo
Commercial Development Office of the People's Republic of
China Cai Weiquan
told Charge Kubiske that his purpose in the Dominican
Republic is to encourage it to switch diplomatic recognition,
recognizing Beijing instead of Taipei. PRC investment in the
Dominican Republic, he acknowledged, depended on it. So,
far, he said, the Dominican Government so far has given no
indication that it will switch recognition; the PRC reps have
been told only that authorities of the current Dominican
administration are "thinking about" the proposal. Cai hoped
we could help convince the Dominicans on recognition. Charge
replied that this was matter between the PRC and the
Dominican Republic.

2. (SBU) Cai arrived six months ago as the commercial rep and
has already arranged visits by three PRC
commercial/investment delegations. He has also promoted
travel by Dominican politicians and businesspersons to China,
including a trip by 10 Dominican
senators (reftel).

3. (SBU) Cai cited two obstacles to developing a larger
relationship with the
Dominican Republic:

-- Lack of information among Dominicans about today's China
-- now opening up
to the world -- and about the realities of globalization and
free trade; and

-- The absence of diplomatic relations, which is preventing
the development of
a legal framework to facilitate trade and investment.

4. (SBU) Cai noted that trade between China and the Dominican
Republic is
unbalanced in favor of China. He claimed not to be an
economist, nor to be
current on details of investment projects cited reftel.
These include
negotiations by a Chinese firm to take over the Canadian
mining enterprise
Falconbridge including its Dominican affiliate and about
other Chinese bids to
purchase a 50 percent share in the Caucedo container port.

5. (SBU) The PRC commercial office in Santo Domingo has a
staff of three PRC
citizens and two local hires, Cai said.

6. (SBU) Comment: This conversation did not change our
recent analysis
(reftel) of the PRC's charm offensive here or of the
Dominicans' growing but
still noncommittal interest in what China has to offer. End
comment.

7. (SBU) Bio data: Cai Weiquan, a career diplomat of tbe PRC
foreign ministry,
served previously in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. He has a
master's degree in
international economics and political affairs from a Mexican
university and an
undergraduate degree in political science in China. He
speaks excellent
Spanish, but claims to speak "not much English." From Fujian
province, Cai now
has family in Beijing.
KUBISKE

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