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Cablegate: Prc/Burma: A/S Campbell's Meeting with Asian

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OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHNH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2868/01 2871046
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 141046Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6436
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY 6793
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA PRIORITY 2016
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 9400
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 4955
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON PRIORITY 4790
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE PRIORITY 9702

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 002868

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/14/2029
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV PARM BM KN CH
SUBJECT: PRC/BURMA: A/S CAMPBELL'S MEETING WITH ASIAN
AFFAIRS DG YANG YANYI

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson.
Reasons 1.4 (b, d)

1. (S) SUMMARY: In an October 13 meeting with EAP A/S Kurt
Campbell, MFA Asian Affairs Department Director General Yang
Yanyi said that China saw many positive aspects in the U.S.
review of its Burma policy and suggested proceeding based on
its conclusion, despite PRC concern over continuing
sanctions. Yang asserted that the junta was committed to
building a peaceful, modern, democratic Burma, but stability
remained paramount to them "for now." She claimed the regime
was committed to a fair election in 2010 and was renewing
efforts on developing the economy. DG Yang cautioned that
the regime could not be replaced, and counseled patience on
development and democratization efforts given the complexity
of Burmese society. Chinese officials had told the Burmese
to consider China's legitimate interests in dealing with the
situation in Kokang, but also stressed that China would not
interfere in the internal affairs of Burma. A/S Campbell
cautioned that steps by the regime toward progress on nuclear
technology would make dialogue more difficult and the U.S.
and China had a shared interest in partnering to prevent such
progress. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) A/S Campbell briefed MFA Asia Department Director
General Yang Yanyi October 13 on the recently concluded Burma
policy review and expressed U.S. concern over the deplorable
humanitarian situation in Burma. He sought Chinese views on
the situation there and how to use dialogue with the junta to
improve the situation, and explained the deep concerns on the
U.S. side over possible efforts by Burma to develop nuclear
technology with the help of the DPRK.

Positive PRC Reaction to the U.S. Policy Review
--------------------------------------------- --

3. (C) DG Yang replied that the Chinese government remained
keenly interested in the situation in Burma. On the U.S.
policy review, Yang said that China saw many positive
aspects, in particular the conclusion that continued
isolation of Burma would have direct negative consequences
beyond Burma's borders, and that the strategic goal of the
United States was to bring about a unified, peaceful and
democratic Burma. She reported that China was encouraged by
U.S. decisions to engage in direct dialogue with the Burmese
regime and expand humanitarian assistance, as well as by the
U.S. call for close cooperation on the issue with Thailand,
Indonesia and Singapore as well as China and India. Yang
expressed concern over the conclusion in the review to
maintain existing sanctions and noted U.S. skepticism at the
2010 elections. Overall, Yang said, China supported and
encouraged the U.S. to proceed based on the conclusions of
the policy review. She added that China had been pleased to
play a role in the first direct meeting between the junta and
the U.S. side in 2007.

Burma, the View from Beijing
----------------------------

4. (C) DG Yang acknowledged that the U.S. and China might
have different views on the current situation in Burma and
asserted that the junta was committed to building a peaceful,
modern, democratic Burma. She cautioned that stability
remained of paramount importance to the junta, "for now."
Burma viewed positively the advice of the international
community and recently had taken positive steps, including
meetings by top Burmese officials with UN leadership and a
meeting between Senior General Than Shwe and Senator Jim
Webb. She claimed that Burma had expressed its commitment
multiple times to free and fair elections in 2010. The
regime was emphasizing economic development and paying
increased attention to the needs of the Burmese people,
particularly in the wake of Cyclone Nargis. The regime had
taken positive steps, Yang claimed, in advancing the
democratization process.

Problems Remain, but the Regime Cannot Be Replaced
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. (C) DG Yang cautioned that many problems remained. The
regime had "tried its best," she claimed, but had been unable
to realize true national reconciliation and economic
development. The Burmese people, she noted, were unsatisfied
with the state of affairs. Despite the problems, the regime

BEIJING 00002868 002 OF 003


could not be replaced, and long-term stability and
development would take time, especially given the complexity
of the situation in Burma. The people of Burma could best
determine the course of the country's internal affairs. Yang
said that during her many visits to Burma, she had found the
Burmese to be a proud nation but also very sensitive, which
was one reason that sanctions were ineffective and would only
isolate Burma.

The Junta: Illegitimate, and with Total Control
--------------------------------------------- --

6. (C) A/S Campbell responded that one of the basic problems
in Burma's political system was that the junta lacked
legitimacy but maintained a total grip on power, while the
National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi and
other opposition groups had legitimacy but no access to
power. He stressed the importance of efforts from the regime
that would allow opposition groups to participate in next
year's elections, and called on China to support dialogue
that could lead to such an outcome. Otherwise, the election
could be seen by the Burmese people as illegitimate. He
noted that Aung San Suu Kyi had expressed willingness to
engage in dialogue with the junta. Yang responded that under
the new Burmese constitution, next year's elections should be
open to all groups, and that the Chinese side would encourage
the junta to implement this rule.

How to Talk to Than Shwe
------------------------

7. (C) Based on her several meetings with Senior General Than
Shwe in the past, Yang reported, he was "easy-going" and not
difficult to engage in conversation. She said that he held
other countries, including the United States, in high regard,
and was "not seeking enemies." She suggested engaging the
junta in a positive way and on an "equal footing," as well as
avoiding discussing difficult issues at the beginning of the
dialogue. She claimed that the regime had drawn conclusions
from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that led to regime change
there, and thus lacked confidence in U.S. intentions. She
added that the regime was committed to dialogue with the
international community.

PRC Would "Not Allow Burma to Fall into Chaos"
--------------------------------------------- -

8. (C) Responding to A/S Campbell's question about the
Chinese view on last month's violence in Kokang, DG Yang said
that with elections next year, the regime had felt it had to
take some action on the situation there. She acknowledged
that the regime's actions had had ramifications for China but
stressed that Beijing hoped the regime was working out the
situation through dialogue. China opposed use of force to
resolve issues in the border areas, and "would not allow
Burma to fall into chaos." Yang added that Chinese officials
had told the Burmese to consider China's "legitimate
interests" in dealing with the situation, but noted that
Beijing had also stressed that China would never interfere in
the internal affairs of Burma.

Nuclear Program Barrier to Engagement
-------------------------------------

9. (S) A/S Campbell stressed the importance of preventing
progress by the regime on nuclear military technology. He
noted the increase the United States had detected in Burmese
purchases of military equipment and arms from North Korea, as
well as the alarming increase in students from Burma in
Russia studying nuclear-related fields. Stressing that the
United States wanted dialogue to deal with Burma's troubling
domestic political situation, he cautioned that active steps
by the regime toward progress on nuclear technology would
make dialogue more difficult. China, as a neighboring
country, had a strong incentive to try a new approach to
achieve progress with the regime in partnership with the
United States. A/S Campbell extended an invitation for a
group of PRC officials to open a dialogue with USG
counterparts to provide advice and suggestions, as well as
hear about U.S. approaches to humanitarian assistance. Yang
replied that China was monitoring the situation closely, and
that China would continue to push the regime to proceed with
economic development and democratization.


BEIJING 00002868 003 OF 003


10. (U) A/S Campbell's delegation cleared this message.
HUNTSMAN

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