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Cablegate: November 20 Mfa Press Briefing: Food Safety, Sed, Taiwan,

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DE RUEHBJ #4280/01 3252325
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 202325Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0976
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0532
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0335

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 004280

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON PHUM TW CH RS PE

SUBJECT: NOVEMBER 20 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: FOOD SAFETY, SED, TAIWAN,
PIRATES, DALAI LAMA

1. Key points at the November 20 afternoon MFA press briefing were:

-- China has "already established" a "full export inspection
system," and products found to be below standard will not be
exported.

-- China hopes that the two sides will continue to "show mutual
respect, accommodate each other's concerns and deal with each other"
during the Strategic Economic Dialogue.

-- "According to usual practice and the APEC memorandum," Taiwan
does not officially participate in APEC meetings.

-- China is "conducting rescue work" to save the crew of a Chinese
fishing vessel captured by pirates.

-- France should "take into account" China's concerns regarding the
Dalai Lama.

Food Safety
-----------

2. China has "already established" a "full export inspection
system," and products found to be below standard will not be
exported, said Spokesperson Qin Gang at the November 20 regularly
scheduled MFA press conference when asked to comment on the new food
import regulations in the United States. Qin said that China's
Administration for Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
(AQSIQ) has ensured that Chinese exporters have "advanced systems"
that can meet U.S. requirements. China "hopes the United States can
recognize AQSIQ standards" to facilitate trade between the two
countries, said Qin.

Strategic Economic Dialogue
---------------------------

3. China and the United States are discussing the details of the
upcoming Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) and will release the date
when it is confirmed, said Qin. China hopes that the two sides will
continue to "show mutual respect, accommodate each other's concerns
and deal with each other" during the discussion. Qin confirmed that
Vice Premier Wang Qishan will represent China and Treasury Secretary
Henry Paulson will represent the United States.

Taiwan and International Space
------------------------------

4. Asked why the Taiwan Foreign Minister or other highly ranked
Taiwan official did not attend the APEC summit held in Peru, Qin
said that "according to usual practice and the APEC memorandum,"
Taiwan does not officially participate in APEC meetings. Qin noted
that "all sovereign members of APEC" recognize the "One-China
Policy." Pressed on why China does not take into account improving
cross-Strait relations, Qin responded that "no matter when, no
matter what changes, the fact that there is only one China will
remain unchanged." Regarding Taiwan's ability to participate in
international fora, Qin said that the Mainland "understands the
Taiwan compatriots' desire to take part in international
organizations." The people on both sides of the Strait "are
Chinese," and the People's Republic of China is working "for all
Chinese people around the world." China will make joint efforts
with Taiwan to "solve issues" but will "firmly oppose attempts to
make two Chinas." The spokesman did not have any information on
whether President Hu Jintao will meet with KMT Chairman Lien Chan at
APEC.

Somali Piracy
-------------

5. Asked about the recent seizure of a Chinese fishing vessel by
pirates off the Somali coast, Qin said that China is "conducting
rescue work" and "we should all pray for the safety of all Chinese
crews and their property." Maritime security and the security of
fishing boats "must be protected," said Qin. China has taken note
of "rampant piracy" in the seas off Somalia. China will counter the
piracy in accordance with relevant China-Somalia agreements, UN
resolutions and international law.

Dalai Lama and France
---------------------

6. France should "take into account" China's concerns regarding the
Dalai Lama, said Qin when asked about a meeting between French
President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama. Doing so will help
create "good condtions for sound and stable relations" between
China and France as well as China and the rest of Europe. China
opposes the Dalai Lama's meeting with foreign leaders, a position
which is "consistent," said Qin.


BEIJING 00004280 002 OF 002


China-Japan Economic High-Level Dialogue
---------------------------------------

7. China and Japan are discussing a date for the next round of the
China-Japan Economic High-Level Dialogue, said Qin. The dialogue is
an "important platform to strengthen bilateral trade," and China
expects to see a "successful result" when the meeting is held.

Reform and Opening Anniversary
------------------------------

8. The exact date China considers to be the anniversary of the
Reform and Opening policy is "beyond my knowledge" admitted the
spokesperson. However, he assured the journalists that the
"important thing" is China will "continue to carry out the policy"
and not the specific date.

Russian Foreign Minister in China
---------------------------------

9. The spokesperson did not have any information about potential
meetings between Chinese leaders and Russian Foreign Minister
Lavrov.

RANDT

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