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Cablegate: Corrected Copy (Para 9: Asem Dates) September 23 Mfa Press

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0070
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0248
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0630

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003679

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAGR VE CH KN JP NZ

SUBJECT: CORRECTED COPY (PARA 9: ASEM DATES) SEPTEMBER 23 MFA PRESS
BRIEFING: CHAVEZ CHINA VISIT, MILK SCANDAL, NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR
ISSUE, CHINA-JAPAN RELATIONS, U.S. FINANCIAL CRISIS

1. Key points at the September 23 afternoon MFA press briefing
were:

-- China's relationship with Venezuela is a "normal state to state
relationship" which is "not based on ideology or directed against
any other country."

-- China has taken a "responsible attitude" regarding the milk
scandal and began dealing with the issue immediately after being
informed of the problem by the New Zealand Embassy.

-- China has taken note of reports that North Korea has asked to
remove IAEA seals.

-- Healthy bilateral relations are in the interest of Japan and
China.

-- China is monitoring closely the U.S. financial crisis.

-- China responded quickly to deal with possible food safety issues
regarding exports to Japan and the ROK.

Visit of Chavez
---------------

2. At the September 23 regular MFA press briefing, spokesperson
Jiang Yu said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in
Beijing. Chavez will meet with Vice Premier Li Keqiang and attend a
signing ceremony with President Hu Jintao. Jiang said that the
bilateral relationship is based on mutual benefit and joint
development. Asked to respond to alleged irritation in the U.S.
government over the visit, Jiang said that the bilateral
relationship between China and Venezuela is a "normal state to state
relationship" which is "not based on ideology or directed against
any other country." Jiang had no information about any military
cooperation agreement between China and Venezuela.

Tainted Milk
------------

3. China "attaches great importance to food safety" and has "taken a
responsible attitude," said Jiang in response to questions about the
ongoing milk safety scandal. Jiang said that the New Zealand
Embassy informed the Chinese government of the problem on September
9 and an inspection team was sent the same afternoon. The
inspection team sent back preliminary test results by the evening of
September 9, said Jiang. Jiang noted that all governments face the
problem of food safety and China has an "established safety
mechanism" which it will "improve in the future." Relevant Chinese
authorities are "ready to work with" other countries to resolve the
problem.

North Korea
-----------

4. Jiang said that China has "taken note" of reports that North
Korea has asked to remove IAEA seals at its nuclear facilities.
China hopes that "relevant parties strengthen communication, display
flexibility and be jointly committed to the early solution of the
issue" China also hopes relevant parties will "implement the
remaining tasks of the second phase in a comprehensive and balanced
way to promote the Six-Party Talks."

China-Japan Relations
--------------------

5. Asked for China's opinion of the recent election of Taro Aso to
lead Japan's LDP party, Jiang said that it was an internal matter
for Japan. Jiang said that healthy relations are in the interest of
the two countries. Relations will proceed on the basis of the "four
documents" and the "consensus reached by the two leaders."

Financial Crisis
----------------

6. Though Presidents Bush and Hu Jintao did not discuss the
financial crisis during their phone conversation today, China is
following the situation closely. China will also strengthen
communication with financial institutions and markets and analyze
financial markets to strengthen supervision and preventative
measures.

Safety of Food Exports to South Korea and Japan
--------------------------------------------- --

7. Asked about food safety concerns regarding Chinese produced fish
feed exported to South Korea and "tofu paste" exported to Japan,
Jiang said that the General Administration of Quality Supervision,

BEIJING 00003679 002 OF 002


Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) acted immediately to deal with
both cases. Jiang said that the AQSIQ first heard of the fish feed
problem "from the internet" and immediately afterward began checking
fish feed exports. Jiang said that the accused fish feed maker had
never exported to the ROK. China has strengthened supervision of
animal feed since May, said Jiang. AQSIQ also acted immediately to
identify problematic "tofu paste" exported to Japan. Neither tests
by the Japanese or Chinese authorities revealed any poisons.

Space Shuttle Launch
--------------------

8. Asked to comment on the impending launch of the Shenzhou 7 space
shuttle, Jiang said that "outer space is the shared treasure of the
human race" and the launch is "part of our effort to make peaceful
use of outer space."

ASEM Summit
-----------

9. Jiang announced that the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) will be held
in Beijing from October 24-25. The theme for the conference is
"vision and action toward a win-win solution." Political, cultural,
economic and sustainable development issues will be discussed.

RANDT

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