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Cablegate: December 11 Mfa Press Briefing: Six-Party Talks, Torture In

VZCZCXRO4227
OO RUEHAG RUEHCN RUEHDF RUEHGH RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #4509/01 3462334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 112334Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1338
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 004509


SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PARM PHUM ECON EFIN EAIR CH FR PL JA KS

SUBJECT: DECEMBER 11 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: SIX-PARTY TALKS, TORTURE IN
TIBET, SAKHAROV PRIZE, CENTRAL ECONOMIC WORK CONFERENCE, SINO-FRENCH
RELATIONS, SINO-POLISH RELATIONS

1. Key points at the December 11 MFA press briefing:

-- The Six-Party Talks Heads of Delegation (HOD) meeting is still
ongoing, as the parties are "discussing and deciding" formalities in
bilateral sessions as well as plenary sessions.

-- China has "taken note" of a recent Free Tibet report claiming
that the use of torture by Chinese authorities is widespread in
Tibet, but questions the credibility of the report.

-- MFA spokesman Liu Jianchao said it is "ironic" that a "criminal"
such as Hu Jia is being given a human rights award.

-- China hopes that the "initiatives and arrangements" developed
during the Central Economic Work Conference meetings earlier this
week, as well as the stimulus package, will counter the effects of
the current economic crisis and quell social unrest.

-- China claims that reports of a cyber attack on the website of the
French Embassy are speculative.

-- Liu said that French President Sarkozy's comments that his
meeting with the Dalai Lama was not meant to harm Sino-French
relations is "not valid" and that it "won't solve current
difficulties" between France and China.

-- After expressing its "strong dissatisfaction" with the meeting
between Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the Dalai Lama, China
urges Poland to "do nothing to harm Sino-Polish relations."

Six-Party Talks
---------------

2. The Six-Party Talks Heads of Delegation (HOD) meeting is still
ongoing, announced MFA spokesman Liu Jianchao at the December 11 MFA
press briefing. He added that the parties are "discussing and
deciding" formalities in bilateral sessions as well as plenary
sessions. The conclusion of the talks, he noted, will be a
"political decision" made by the parties. He said China is
appreciative of the "arduous efforts" of the parties, and hopes that
these talks will "expand consensus for positive results."

Detention of Charter 08 signatory
---------------------------------

3. When asked to elaborate on the detention of Liu Xiaobo, a human
rights activist and signatory of Charter 08, Liu said that he was
"not in a position to answer" the question, but that he expects the
matter to be "handled in accordance with the law."

Torture in Tibet
----------------

4. Liu said he had "taken note" of a recent Free Tibet report
claiming that the use of torture by Chinese authorities is
widespread in Tibet, but that he is "not aware" of the organization
that published the report, nor is he certain of the credibility of
their sources. He said that if there is concrete evidence to prove
the report's allegations, China "will investigate." Otherwise, he
added that China considers torture an "infringement of human rights"
and is "resolutely against torture" as a matter of policy.

Sakharov Prize
--------------

5. When asked about whether or not China will allow activist Hu
Jia's wife to travel to Europe next week to accept the Sakharov
Prize awarded to her husband by the European Parliament, Liu
emphasized that the award is being presented despite China's
opposition to it. He added that it is "ironic" that a "criminal" is
being given a human rights award.

Economic Crisis and Social Unrest
---------------------------------

6. All countries are affected by the global financial crisis, said
Liu, including China. China hopes that its recently announced
stimulus package will promote "smooth and rapid" economic
development, and that there will not be social unrest. Liu added
that the Central Economic Work Conference meetings earlier this week
announced "initiatives and arrangements" for the coming year, and
that China "hopes this will work" to counter the effects of the
current economic crisis. As for the Government's call to urge
Chinese airlines to cancel or postpone aircraft scheduled for
delivery in 2009, Liu provided no substantive explanation but said
that he expects the matter to "proceed smoothly."

Cyber Attack on French Embassy Website

BEIJING 00004509 002 OF 002


--------------------------------------

7. China has taken note that there reportedly was a cyber attack on
the website of the French Embassy, said Liu. Liu added that this
was most likely speculation, however, and that no "questions or
concerns" had been raised by the French. He stressed that China is
"against hacking" and that similar reports in the future should be
based on "solid proof" and refrain from "targeting China."

Sarkozy's Statement "Not Valid"
-------------------------------

8. As for French President Sarkozy's comments that his meeting with
the Dalai Lama was not meant to harm Sino-French relations, Liu said
that this statement is "not valid" and that it "won't solve current
difficulties" between the two countries. He emphasized that France
is "well-aware of the severity" of the situation, and that China
expects it to "take concrete measures for the healthy development of
Sino-French relations."

Dalai Lama and Polish President
-------------------------------

9. Liu said that China expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with
the meeting between Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the Dalai
Lama, which took place on December 10 in Warsaw, and urges Poland to
"do nothing to harm Sino-Polish relations."

China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting
--------------------------------

10. China "attaches importance" to cooperation with Japan and the
Republic of Korea (ROK) in "economic, financial, cultural,
investment and personnel" realms, said Liu. He noted that the
upcoming China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting is of "important
significance" due to the financial crisis. As for the first-ever
China-ROK strategic dialogue currently in progress, involving Vice
Foreign Minister Wang Guangya, Liu had no specific information to
pass on but said that this meeting, as well as the China-Japan-ROK
Leader's Meeting, is important for "East Asian cooperation and peace
and development."


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