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Cablegate: July 22 Mfa Press Briefing: Olympics and Freedom, Kunming

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OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2840/01 2042308
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 222308Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8710
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002840

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER KOLY PHUM KN VM ZI LI
SUBJECT: JULY 22 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: OLYMPICS AND FREEDOM, KUNMING
BOMBING, EXXON AND VIETNAM, ZIMBABWE MOU

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1. Key points at the July 22 afternoon MFA press briefing were:

-- All athletes should promote friendship while in China, said the
spokesmen when asked to respond to President Bush's comments that
athletes should be ambassadors of freedom.

-- The MFA continues to "urge all relevant departments and local
governments" to implement and fulfill Olympic related promises.

-- China condemns the violence of the recent bus bombings in Kunming
and has not found any links between the bombings and international
terrorism.

-- China has made its position known to "relevant parties" in a
potential deal between Exxon and Vietnam regarding oil in the South
China Sea.

-- China welcomes the recently signed MOU between Zimbabwe
opposition leaders and the government.

Olympics and Freedom
---------------------

2. At the July 22 regular press conference, spokesman Liu Jianchao
said that he had taken note of President Bush's recent comments that
U.S. Olympic athletes should be ambassadors of freedom when they
compete in Beijing. Liu said that China hopes all athletes
"including those from the United States" make efforts to "promote
friendship" while in China. Asked to comment on complaints from
Olympic sponsors that China has not lived up to their agreements,
Liu said that "competent departments" had "taken note of the
sponsors' demands" and that they were "reasonable." Liu noted that
when considering the demands, security should come first. The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will do its best to support the
sponsors in their discussions with competent authorities. Liu said
he could not comment on general accusations of harassment of foreign
journalists. The MFA continues to urge "all relevant departments
and local governments" to implement and fulfill Olympic related
promises, said Liu.

Kunming Bus Bombing
-------------------

3. Asked about the July 21 bus bombings in Kunming, Liu said that
China condemns the violence. Chinese police are currently
investigating the incident and so far have found no evidence of
links to international terrorism. China will continue to "make
efforts to find out the truth."

Exxon Mobile - Vietnam Oil Deal
-------------------------------

4. Asked to confirm reports that China urged the cancellation of an
oil deal between Vietnam and Exxon Mobile, Liu Jianchao said that
China's position on the South China Sea is "clear and consistent."
China has stated its position to "relevant parties" and opposes any
action that infringes on Chinese sovereignty.

Zimbabwe Memorandum of Understanding
------------------------------------

5. China welcomes the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
signed between the Zimbabwean government and opposition leaders.
The MOU indicates that "relevant parties" are dedicated to solving
their problems by peaceful means, said Liu. China hopes that all
parties will put the needs of the people first to find a solution.


Visas
-----

6. Asked to confirm a Liberian Embassy official's reported
statements that Liberian businesspeople have been deported from
China despite their holding the correct China visas and the
official's claim that multiple countries would make representations
to China regarding the issue, Liu said that relevant authorities
deal with foreigners according to law. Liu also said that no such
representations had been received.

North Korean Border, Nepal Constitutional Assembly, British Citizen
and Tibetan Youth Congress
--------------------------------------------- ----

7. The border with North Korea is not closed and everything on the
border is normal, said Liu. Asked to comment on the recent
constitutional assembly in Nepal, Liu expressed China's
congratulations to Nepal. Liu said that as a "good neighbor, friend
and partner" China hopes that Nepal will have national solidarity
and political stability. Asked about the controversy surrounding
British Citizen Dechen Khando Pemba who was deported from China
after being accused of being a member of the Tibetan Youth Congress,
Liu said that Pemba admitted what she did and that authorities had

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made an investigation and taken measures consistent with the law.

PICCUTA

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