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Cablegate: November 27 Mfa Press Briefing: Iran, Six-Party

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TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON MARR EFIN ETRD TBIO IR JA KN
KS, MK, AS
SUBJECT: NOVEMBER 27 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: IRAN, SIX-PARTY
TALKS, CHINA-EU SUMMIT, MORE

1. Key points at the regular November 27 MFA Press Briefing:

-- FM Yang told Secretary Rice in a November 26 meeting that
China would play a constructive role on the Iran issue.
-- China is still consulting with other parties on the date
of the next Six-Party Heads of Delegation meeting.
-- China takes product safety seriously and "criticisms are
not helpful for solutions."
-- China understands EU concerns over the Euro-RMB exchange
rate and is ready to continue discussions, but hopes the
EU will acknowledge China's progress over the past year.
-- China congratulates Australian Prime Minister-elect on his
election and has confidence in the future development of the
Chinese-Australian relationship.
-- VISITS: Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski will visit
China from December 4-9.

FM Yang Meeting with Secretary Rice
-----------------------------------
2. MFA Spokesman Qin Gang said when Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi met Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on November 26
the two discussed bilateral issues and issues of joint
concern, including Taiwan and Iran. Yang said China would
"play a constructive role" in resolving the Iran issue.
According to Qin, Yang also told Secretary Rice that China
opposes Taiwan's United Nations referendum and hopes the
United States abides by its commitments regarding Taiwan and
stops selling weapons to Chen Shui-bian and the Taiwan
authorities.

Six-Party Talks
---------------
3. Qin said China is coordinating with other parties
regarding the dates for the next Six-Party Heads of
Delegation meeting, but has no details for release yet.
Responding to a question on Assistant Secretary Chris Hill,s
travels to Japan and South Korea, Qin said the United States
and China remain in close contact. He said the United States
and North Korea should continue meeting on the basis of
equality and mutual respect to improve relations. The two
countries should continue to work with other involved parties
to help achieve peace and stability in the region. Qin said
China hopes for a successful visit "with results" by the team
of experts, including China's Ambassador Chen Naiqing,
visiting Yongbyon.

Product Safety
--------------
4. Qin said he was unaware of Vice Premier Wu Yi's reported
comments to European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Peter
Mandelson. However, Qin noted that the Chinese Government
attaches great importance to food safety and that China is a
responsible country that cares about the health of people
around the world. "We take a highly responsible attitude to
manufacturing." Qin said a Japanese report in July 2007
found 99.42 percent of Chinese imports were considered safe
compared to 99.38 percent of those from the EU, and 98.96
percent from the United States. Qin said "Chinese food is
not only safe, but reliable." "We acknowledge that there are
some issues in food and product manufacturing, but these are
isolated cases." Qin concluded that "criticisms are not
helpful for solutions. All countries should be engaged in a
joint effort to protect human health."

EU Summit on RMB Appreciation
-----------------------------
5. China understands the EU's concerns about the value of the
RMB and is ready to continue discussions on the topic, but
hopes the EU can appreciate China's efforts over the past
year, said Qin. China will continue allowing gradual
flexibility in the exchange rate in a managed float. Against
the U.S. dollar, the RMB has appreciated by 11.6 percent this
year.

China Congratulates Australian PM-Elect
---------------------------------------
6. Qin said Premier Wen Jiabao has already offered his
congratulations to Australian Prime Minister-Elect Kevin
Rudd. The Chinese Government continues to cooperate with
Australia to promote the peace and stability of the region.

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There is "comprehensive cooperation between the two sides"
and the Chinese have confidence in the future development of
the bilateral relationship. The Chinese Government also
expressed its appreciation for Prime Minister John Howard's
efforts in improving relations between China and Australia.

ROK and DPRK Defense Ministers Meet
-----------------------------------
7. China welcomes the recent meeting between the Defense
Ministers of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea. Qin said China hopes
negotiations between the two Koreas will result in
long-lasting peace. China would like to see improvement of
relations between the two Koreas.

Taiwan Independence
-------------------
8. Asked whether China is insisting that a China-EU summit
joint statement include a condemnation of Taiwan seeking
independence, Qin said that Taiwan is part of China. The
"promotion of independence by Taiwan authorities undermines
the peace and stability of the region," he said. The EU
adheres to the "one China" principle, Qin continued. "We
hope the EU upholds justice on the Taiwan question and
opposes Taiwan independence."

Banned Group Tours in 2008?
---------------------------
9. Qin dismissed reports that Chinese tourism authorities
intend to ban group tourism from May through August of 2008.
"China is a major travel destination and we hope to build
greater understanding of China's history and culture through
tourism."

Spratley Island Military Exercise
-------------------------------
10. China recently held a military training exercise in
territorial waters around the Spratley Islands. Qin said the
islands are undisputedly Chinese and that Vietnam's
accusations that China infringed on their territory were
groundless.

Chinese Naval Ship Visits Japan
-------------------------------
11. A Chinese naval ship will arrive in Japan on December 1
in a gesture of friendship and goodwill, said Qin. This is
the first visit by a Chinese naval ship to Japan since
normalization.

Upcoming Visits
---------------
12. VISITS: Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski will
visit China from December 4-9.
RANDT

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