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Cablegate: September 18 Mfa Press Briefing: Tainted Milk Scandal,

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SUBJECT: SEPTEMBER 18 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: TAINTED MILK SCANDAL,
DPRK, GEORGIA, TAIWAN AND THE UN

1. Key points at the September 18 afternoon MFA press briefing
were:

-- China "will be responsible and will seriously handle the issue"
of contaminated milk.

-- China "firmly opposes" food smuggling to the DPRK and will
continue to provide food assistance to the DPRK.

-- China "supports the UN Observer Mission to Georgia and hopes to
see it continue to carry out its duties."

-- China welcomes the UN General Committee's rejection of the
proposal to put Taiwan's participation in UN activities on the UN
General Assembly agenda.

Tainted Milk Scandal
----------------------
2. At the September 18 regular MFA press briefing, spokesperson
Jiang Yu said that the General Administration of Quality Inspection
announced that two Chinese companies, Guangdong-based Yashili and
Qingdao-based Suncare, have been forced to recall their milk powder,
which is exported to five countries in Africa and Asia: Bangladesh,
Yemen, Gabon, Burundi and Myanmar. She stressed that there have
been no reports of illness from the milk powder in those five
countries and that Chinese authorities "within a relatively short
amount of time have taken effective measures" to deal with the
tainted milk scandal. Calling food safety "a joint challenge for
all governments," Jiang said that China "will be responsible and
will seriously handle this issue."

DPRK
-----
3. In response to a question about reports that Kim Jong-il's son
was seen in Beijing yesterday, Jiang said that she was not aware of
such reports. Responding to a separate question on reports of grain
smuggling from China to the DPRK, Jiang said that China "firmly
opposes illegal trade" and will continue to provide food assistance
to the DPRK. She added that solving the food shortage in the DPRK
is "the responsibility of the international community" and that
China actively cooperates with the World Food Program.

UN Observer Mission to Georgia
------------------------------
4. Jiang said that China has "taken note of and will study some
countries' suggestion to send UN peacekeepers to Georgia." Noting
that the UN Observer Mission to Georgia has "played an important
role in safeguarding peace and stability," Jiang said that China
supports the UN Observer Mission and hopes to see it continue to
carry out its duties.

Taiwan Participation at the UN
------------------------------
5. Jiang said that the UN General Committee's refusal to accept the
proposal to put Taiwan's participation in UN activities on the UN
General Assembly agenda "reflects most UN member states'
determination to abide by the one China policy." She added that the
issue of Taiwan's participation at the UN should be resolved
"through consultations by Chinese people on the two sides of the
Taiwan Strait."

Chavez Visit to China
---------------------
6. In response to a question about new agreements planned for
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's September 23-25 visit to Beijing,
Jiang said that China and Venezuela enjoy "normal state-to-state
relations" and that China "would like to deepen relations with all
Latin American countries, including Venezuela." She said that she
did not have any information on new agreements.

Reporting Rules for Foreign Journalists
---------------------------------------
7. For the second week in a row, a journalist asked about the
soon-to-expire Olympics reporting rules for foreign journalists.
Jiang said that she had no specific information to share but
stressed that China will continue its policy of openness and will
continue to welcome foreign journalists to China. She expressed
hope that foreign journalists will abide by Chinese laws and "cover
China in an objective and fair manner."

RANDT

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