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Cablegate: Liu Guijin: U.S. Visit a Success; Discusses Sudan,

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1. (U) Summary: PRC Special Envoy for Darfur Liu Guijin
described his recent trip to the United States as a success
that resulted in increased understanding of China's Darfur
policies at a September 18 press briefing. In response to
questions, he said that the security situation in Darfur is
improving, but still complex. China is ready to send 315
engineers to the region once "technical delays" are resolved
and has provided large amounts of additional aid. There are
multiple stumbling blocks in advance of the October 24 peace
negotiations, including ongoing negotiations regarding which
rebel leaders will attend. China is willing to attend the
negotiations if asked, but does not anticipate that it will.
China feels that funding is the single largest obstacle to
the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1769
establishing the UNAMID peacekeeping force. The Chinese
government does not plan to contact Khartoum directly, as it
has not been asked to do so by the UN or the African Union.

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Additional Press Conference

2. (U) Following the normal twice-weekly MFA press conference
on September 18 (attended by PolOff), the MFA announced that
Chinese Special Envoy for Darfur Liu Guijin would address the
press to debrief his early-September trip to the United

3. (U) Liu explained that during the seven working days of
his September 1-11 trip to the United States, he met with
high-level American officials, including Deputy Secretary of
State John Negroponte, House Foreign Affairs Committee
Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus member
Don Paine (D-NJ), Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin
(D-IL) and other members of Congress, as well as UN officials
such as Under Secretary General for Political Affairs B. Lynn
Pascoe and Assistant Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping
Operations Hedi Annabi. He met with members of the Save
Darfur NGO and attended a Center for Strategic and
International Studies-sponsored event where he met with
scholars and experts on Darfur.

4. (U) Liu described his trip as a success, saying that he
achieved his goal of increasing understanding with U.S.
officials and Congress. He said that he "removed
differences" that existed between China on the one hand and
NGOs and the media on the other, and stated that U.S.
officials and the UN "applauded" China's positive and
constructive role. His visit to the United States coincided
with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's visit to Libya, Chad
and Darfur, a visit which Liu said "encouraged" him.

Security Is Improving, but Situation is Complex
--------------------------------------------- --
5. (U) Asked if he is concerned about an increase in aerial
bombings in Darfur, Liu responded that the security situation
in Darfur is improving, but problems persist because of
ineffective implementation of the ceasefire. The reasons
behind this are complex, he said, and include an increase in
refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially
among black Africans, as well as inter-tribal territorial
issues and a tendency toward militarization in refugee camps,
where there is relatively easy access to illegal arms. Liu
said that these concerns emphasize the need to "redouble our
efforts" in Darfur.

6. (U) Asked if the declining security situation would impede
peace negotiations, Liu explained that the upcoming peace
talks are facing a variety of issues, but security is not one
of them. He said that while Libya has been chosen for the
October 24 peace negotiations, the actual site of the talks
is "not yet finalized," and rebel groups, which he prefers to
call "political movements," have not yet settled their
internal debates on which leaders are "qualified to attend"
and able to represent various rebel populations. These
problems, rather than security, are the stumbling blocks the
peace talks are facing.

China to Attend If Asked

7. (U) When asked if China would attend these talks or play
the role of "go-between," Liu explained that historically
there has been no direct contact between China and the rebel
leaders, who are living primarily in European capital cities.
However, if China is invited to attend the talks, it will
send a representative, but Western officials have indicated
that they do not want too many "observers and judges" present
during the negotiations. He added that China has played an
active role in promoting negotiations between the government

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and rebel leaders.

The Heavy Support Package

8. (U) Liu said that many Western journalists met with the
315 multi-function soldier engineers the PRC is sending to
Darfur and that were it not for technical delays, they would
"already be there." He indicated that after "technical
preparations" are complete, the soldiers, the first to be
deployed in the region since the passage of UN Security
Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1769, will be deployed. Liu said
that many African nations have offered troops in excess of
the 19,555 authorized by UNSCR 1769, and as such the process
of selecting troops from various countries is ongoing; within
that 19,555 will be 360 "liaison officers and military
observers." When asked if China is willing to send combat
troops, Liu said that if asked the Chinese government would
consider it, but now is not the time to discuss the matter.

9. (U) Asked if China is sending other aid besides the 315
engineers, Liu cited the 80 million RMB (approximately USD 10
million) in aid that already left from Tianjin harbor for
Darfur. He also said that Chinese companies are working in
both northern and southern Darfur to provide drinkable water
both for the people of Darfur and for the peacekeepers. He
also said that China is ready to send medical teams to the
region and the Chinese people have donated over USD 2 million
to the region for development and reconstruction.

Current Goals in Darfur

10. (U) As for current goals, Liu stated that peacekeeping
requires a "good environment" and as such, all parties are
making efforts to improve the security situation in Darfur.
He further stated that the Chinese government is "urging
restraint" in the region. When asked for clarification, he
said that China is asking for restraint "from all
stakeholders" in the region, including the Sudanese
government, refugees and in particular anyone "doing anything
wrong." Asked if China has plans to directly contact
Khartoum, Liu responded that China does not have any such
plans, as "neither the African Union nor the UN" has made
such a request.

Funding is the Biggest Hurdle

11. (U) Liu said the largest challenge the hybrid forces are
facing is financial, as the peacekeeping operation, the
single most expensive in the history of peacekeeping, will
cost USD 2.5 billion per year. He said China is in
consultation with other nations at UN on the matter. He also
said that there is a need to accelerate the process of
selecting the peacekeepers, so as not to dampen the current
enthusiasm the African nations are displaying for peace

12. (U) When asked if China would support other means to
resolve the issues in Darfur should a peaceful negotiated
solution ultimately fail, Liu said that the current path of
peaceful negotiation is clearly the right one, as evidenced
by the progress already made. This progress includes the
selection of a time and place for peace negotiations and the
participation of eight rebel factions. The use of force, he
said, would not solve any of the myriad problems facing the

13. (U) Asked about China's relationship with the Sudanese
government, Liu responded that there are "no special
elements" to the relationship, except that the two nations
have strong economic ties. The media has attempted to
politicize the relationship, he said, but his recent trip to
America allowed him to make inroads in making others
understand that Darfur "is not China's domestic issue" and
that the world is "over-rating China's ability to help."

Zimbabwe and Ethiopia

14. (U) Asked to comment on the situation in Zimbabwe and the
sort of outcome the Chinese government would prefer, Liu said
that China prefers to defer to regional organizations, such
as the African Union. But while China sees the possibility
of building not just a harmonious society but also a
harmonious world, it, like many African nations including
South Africa, does not want to "internationalize" the
Zimbabwe issue. Asked if Chinese policy toward Zimbabwe

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changed recently and whether it is true that China would only
be giving humanitarian aid, Liu responded that he had not
been following the situation. However, he said, no major
Chinese development projects are underway in Zimbabwe because
of the poor economic situation and massive devaluation of the
currency, but humanitarian aid continues.(Note: Press reports
after the conference suggested China had halted development
aid to Zimbabwe. MFA contacts denied to PolOff September 19
any shift in Chinese aid policy toward Zimbabwe. See septel.)

15. (U) Asked about the potential for Ethiopia to become a
second Darfur and whether Ethiopian troops are defending
Sinopec holdings in the region, Liu responded that he had not
seen the reports and was unable to comment.

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