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Cablegate: November 2 Mfa Press Briefing: North Korea, Africa

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O 021210Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1608
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 023356

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC TBIO KFLU AGOA JA CH KN
SUBJECT: NOVEMBER 2 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: NORTH KOREA, AFRICA
SUMMIT, SUDAN, AVIAN FLU, THAKSIN, WHO, UNSC SEAT, CUBA,
PROTECTING JAPANESE IPR, DALAI LAMA


1. Key Points made at the November 2, 2006 Press Briefing
were:

-- The resumption of the Six-Party Talks is a positive step
towards insuring peace and stability on the North Korean
Peninsula. The Talks will resume at the parties' earliest
convenience.

-- Six African leaders will make state visits following the
China-Africa (FOCAC) Summit.

-- President Hu will meet Sudanese President Bahshir during
FOCAC. Resolution of the Darfur issue requires consent of
Sudan's government.

-- China did not fail to share samples of an allegedly new
strain of avian flu with the WHO.

-- Ex-Thai PM Thaksin's visit to Beijing is a purely private
visit.

-- China recommends Margaret Chan as WHO Director-General.
It has no comment on Panama's candidacy for the UNSC.

-- China opposes any blockade of Cuba.

-- China stands ready to study a free trade zone with Japan
and would protect intellectual property.

North Korea: Six-Party Talks, Border Trade
------------------------------------------

2. MFA Spokesperson Liu Jianchao said the resumption of the
Six-Party Talks is a positive step towards insuring peace and
stability on the North Korean Peninsula. During the informal
three-party talks between the United States, China and North
Korea, both the United States and North Korea exerted
flexibility and made constructive efforts. The goal of the
Six-Party Talks is to implement the Joint Statement agreed
upon on September 19, 2005.

3. When, where and how the Talks will resume will be up to
all six parties to discuss, Liu noted. Despite speculation
about whether the Six-Party Talks will resume before or after
the APEC meeting in Hanoi, no date has been set for
resumption of the Talks. They will resume at the earliest
convenience of all parties, the sooner the better, said Liu.

4. When asked several times why North Korea changed its
position and returned to talks, Liu consistently replied "the
United States and DPRK exerted flexibility and constructive
efforts for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks" and have
come to an understanding to discuss financial issues within
the Six-Party framework. The Spokesman had no comment on
reports that the issue of North Koreans counterfeiting U.S.
currency had been specifically discussed during the informal
three-party talks.

5. The Six-Party Talks do not affect the state of sanctions
against the DPRK, said the spokesman, and are not an issue to
be decided by the Talks. UNSCR 1718 "reflects the consensus
of the international community" and each country has a duty
to strictly and responsibly implement it. China is no
exception, according to Liu. Regarding the possibility that
individual nations might impose sanctions, Liu responded that
sanctions are not a goal in and of themselves, but one of the
means to resolve the Korean Peninsula problem. Noting that
Chinese diplomacy does not focus on pressure and sanctions
but on negotiations and discussion, Liu said the UNSC
Resolution should be strictly abided by, but it is not
appropriate to expand its scope.

6. Responding to a statement that Chinese border guards
confirmed China had cut off oil supplies to North Korea in
September, the spokesman said trade between the countries is
normal and any specifics should be verified with the relevant
authorities.

African Summit
--------------

7. Noting that 48 African countries have confirmed
attendance at the China-Africa Summit (FOCAC), Liu said the
exact number of attendees will be announced tomorrow evening.
He noted that over 40 African leaders will be in Beijing and
that 12 have already arrived. During FOCAC, Beijing will
host six state visits by African leaders.

8. Chiding reporters for focusing on the five African

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nations that do not have diplomatic relations with China
rather than on the over 40 nations that do, Liu said
representatives of the other five are welcome in China, but
he could not confirm their attendance at the Summit.

9. In response to questions criticizing China's no-strings
development assistance to African countries with poor human
rights records, Liu said China's assistance to Africa is
based on equality, transparency and mutual benefit.

10. In reply to a question regarding a Human Rights Watch
Report criticizing China for not pressuring Somalia and
Zimbabwe to improve their human rights records, Liu said
China does not consult with such groups in determining
foreign policy. China's policies in Africa are for the
well-being of both sides. China does not impose its own
ideology or values on other nations and trusts them to have
the wisdom and the right to decide their own paths of
development.

Sudan and Darfur
----------------

11. Hu Jintao will meet with President Bashir of Sudan in
Beijing during the FOCAC, Liu said. Both countries place
importance on good bilateral relations and cooperation, and
China welcomes Bashir and other Sudanese representatives. FM
Li attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Bashir to open the
Sudanese Embassy in Beijing, the largest African Embassy in
China. This indicates the importance China places on the
bilateral relationship, Liu said. The UN should and can play
a role in addressing the Darfur issue. However, specific UN
measures require the consent of the Sudanese government, he
said.

Avian Flu
---------

12. In response to reports that China had failed to share
samples with the WHO of a new strain of bird flu and has not
provided samples to the WHO since 2004, Liu initially stated
that China and the WHO have good cooperation and
communication and efforts continue to control and prevent
bird flu. He referred specific questions to the Ministries
of Agriculture and Health.

13. Later in the briefing, Liu read from a prepared
statement, saying that the WHO's allegations are incorrect.
The bird flu virus samples from South China are essentially
the same as previous samples, said Liu. There is no new
strain of avian flu indicated by the samples, he noted.

Thaksin in Beijing
------------------

14. Ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin is in Beijing for a
private visit, according to Liu. Thaksin has made no
official contact with the Chinese government and the MFA has
received no information about his plans as it is a purely
private visit, said Liu.

Margaret Chan WHO Candidacy
---------------------------

15. China recommends Margaret Chan and strongly supports her
candidacy for WHO Director-General, said Liu. Liu would not
comment on plans to lobby for Chan with the nine countries
participating in FOCAC that have a WHO vote. China is hopeful
that she will win despite the competitive race. Whoever
wins, China will continue its efforts to develop good
relations with the WHO.

UNSC Nonpermanent Member Seat
-----------------------------

16. Beijing had no comment in response to Panama's bid for
the nonpermanent UNSC seat in the wake of the deadlocked
voting between Venezuela and Guatemala. China will undertake
additional research and discuss the issue with other UN
member nations, said Liu.

Cuba Blockade
-------------

17. In response to a question about the upcoming vote in the
UN to recommend an end to the U.S. economic and trade
blockade of Cuba, Liu said China is against any blockade of
Cuba by any country.


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China-Japan Free Trade Zone
---------------------------

18. Responding to a question citing the need for China to
protect intellectual property rights if a free trade zone
with Japan were to be established, Liu stated that China
stands ready to begin a joint study on the proposal for such
a free trade zone. Protecting IPR is in the interests of
China and more administrative, legal and international
cooperation is needed to provide better protection.

Tibet and the Dalai Lama
------------------------

19. The spokesman had no information about contacts between
the Tibetan government in exle or representatives of the
Dalai Lama and th Chinese government, Liu said in response
to a question.
Randt

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