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Cablegate: October 29 Mfa Press Briefing: Pirates, Flu, Baghdad

VZCZCXRO4041
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2997/01 3022313
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 292313Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6639
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 7005
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0226

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002997

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PARM SOCI CH PK NK UK IR IZ CA
SUBJECT: OCTOBER 29 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: PIRATES, FLU, BAGHDAD
BOMBING, PAKISTAN ATTACK

1. Key points at the October 29 MFA press briefing:

-- Efforts aimed at the rescue of the crew of the Chinese cargo ship
the De Xin Hai were "underway."

-- The Chinese Government would step up efforts and adjust its
methods in order to deal with the spread of the flu this season.

-- The terrorist attack near the Chinese Embassy in Baghdad
seriously damaged the Embassy building and resulted in the injury of
two Chinese citizens working nearby.

Somalia Pirate Issue
--------------------

2. Efforts aimed at the rescue of the crew of the Chinese cargo ship
the De Xin Hai were "underway," said spokesman Ma Zhaoxu at the
October 29 regularly scheduled MFA press conference. The
spokesperson refused to confirm reports that China was working with
the Somali Government to negotiate with the pirates. The
spokesperson was aware of Somali Government statements that it would
eliminate pirates from its shores within two years. Asked about
potential Chinese assistance to this effort, Ma stated that China
had "friendly normal relations" with Somalia.


Flu Containment
---------------

3. The Chinese Government would step up efforts and adjust its
methods in order to deal with the spread of the flu this season,
said Ma. "Major adjustments" would be made to border control
mechanisms to make them more flexible and scientific. The
spokesperson referred reporters to a press conference at the
Ministry of Health for more information.

Baghdad Bombing
---------------

4. China was "shocked" by the terrorist attack near its embassy in
Baghdad and was resolutely opposed to terrorism, said Ma. China
hoped that Iraq would be able to deal with the issue to ensure the
safety and development of its people. The attack seriously damaged
the Chinese Embassy and resulted in the injury of two Chinese
citizens working nearby. The MFA had directed the Embassy and
Chinese citizens in Iraq to step up safety precautions and had
expressed its best wishes to the victims.

Peshawar Terrorist Attack
------------------------

5. China wished to express its shock at the terrorist attack in
Peshawar, Pakistan and condolences to the victims and their
families, said Ma. China opposed terrorism and, as a friendly
neighbor and all weather friend, would work with Pakistan to help
protect peace and stability.

Hu Jintao North Korea Meeting
-----------------------------

6. Chinese President Hu Jintao's meeting with North Korean Worker's
Party Central Committee Secretary Choe Thae-Bok was a meeting
between the two political parties, said Ma. The spokesperson
referred reporters to the International Liaison Department of the
CCP Central Committee for more information.

British Citizen
---------------

7. The case of British citizen Akmal Shaikh, sentenced to death for
smuggling four kilograms of heroin in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous
region in 2007, was a judicial issue and was being handled according
to Chinese law "free from outside interference," the spokesman
maintained. The case was still being investigated and reporters
should wait for the results, said Ma. Asked whether this meant that
that Akmal Shaikh's appeal was still outstanding, Ma said that "only
the Ministry of Justice could answer this question."

Taiwan Arms Sales
-----------------

8. China's position regarding arms sales to Taiwan was clear and
consistent, said Ma. China was resolutely against the U.S. or any
other country selling weapons to Taiwan.

Child Adoption Policy and Family Planning
-----------------------------------------

9. Foreigners who adopted Chinese children were required to follow
all regulations in the adoption process. The PRC government, claimed

BEIJING 00002997 002 OF 002


Ma, had always implemented these regulations and would continue to
do so. Asked whether the One Child Policy encouraged the trafficking
of children, Ma responded that the policy "should not be accused."
Family planning was beneficial to the development and wellbeing of
the Chinese people.

Prime Minister of Canada Visit to China
---------------------------------------

10. The PRC government welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper's visit to China in early December and indicated that further
information will be released in due course.

HUNTSMAN

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