Cablegate: October 20 Mfa Press Briefing: Pirates, China-India, North
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SUBJECT: OCTOBER 20 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: PIRATES, CHINA-INDIA, NORTH
1. Key points at the October 20 MFA press briefing:
-- The Chinese Government attached great importance to the safety of
the Chinese crew members taken hostage on their cargo ship, the
-- China-India relations had enjoyed "good momentum" and Chinese
efforts to obtain resources from India's neighbors were part of
normal state-to-state relations.
-- The Kashmir Issue was "left over from history" and should be
-- China opposed the Dalai Lama visiting Arunachal Pradesh.
-- China was committed to the denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula and would make constructive and consistent efforts for the
peace and stability of the region.
-- China had made representations to Japan regarding a potential
visit to that country by Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer.
2. The Chinese Government attached great importance to the safety of
the Chinese crew members taken hostage on their cargo ship, the
Dexinhai, said spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu at the October 20 regularly
scheduled MFA press briefing. Immediately following the incident on
October 19, the MFA and relevant agencies launched a contingency
mechanism in which the MFA ordered its embassies to investigate and
inform relevant governments. The Chinese Government was actively
seeking to rescue the crew members and the MFA had issued a warning
to Chinese merchant ships to avoid the area. Noting that "all-out
rescue efforts" were ongoing, the spokesperson refused to provide
further information on the incident.
3. China-India relations had enjoyed "good momentum," in recent
years as evidenced by frequent high-level contacts, business
cooperation, youth exchanges and collaboration on regional and
international issues. The two countries had agreed to push forward
their bilateral strategic partnership and successfully celebrate
next year's sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of bilateral
relations. Regarding China's efforts to enter into agreements to
purchase resources from India's neighbors, Ma said that the
agreements amounted to mutually beneficial cooperation between
friendly neighbors and normal state-to-state relations. China would
continue to cooperate with relevant countries based on the five
principles of peaceful coexistence. This cooperation was conducive
to peace and stability in the region, said Ma.
4. The Kashmir border dispute was an issue "left over from history"
that should be properly handled by both sides. China hoped the
issue would be resolved through peaceful dialogue in the interests
of peace and stability in the region. Asked about the possibility
of the Dalai Lama visiting Arunachal Pradesh, Ma said that China's
position on the matter was clear and any visit by the Dalai Lama to
the region would further expose his anti-China and separatist
efforts. China was "greatly concerned" over Indian Government
statements that the Dalai Lama was free to travel to the region and
was "firmly opposed" to any visit. Indian media reports that China
was building a dam on the Brahmaputra River were groundless, said
Visit to China of Ambassador Goldberg
5. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, U.S. Coordinator for Implementation
of UNSC Resolution 1874, was visiting China from October 19-20 to
exchange views on the implementation of UNSCR 1874, said the
spokesperson. China was committed to the denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula and would make constructive and consistent efforts
for the peace and stability of the region. Asked if the resolution
was still needed given North Korea's promise to return to
multilateral talks, Ma only responded that China was committed to
denuclearization of the Peninsula and the resumption of the
Six-Party Talks. It was in the interest of all parties to work
together toward that end, he added.
Japan: Kadeer Visit and Yasakuni Shrine
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6. China had made representations to Japan regarding a potential
visit to that country by Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer, said Ma.
"Some forces in Japan" wanted to invite Kadeer to Japan despite
China's grave concerns. China was firmly opposed to separatism, he
added. Separately, when asked for China's response to reports that
Japanese politicians might visit Tokyo's Yasakuni Shrine honoring
war dead, Ma said that China's position on the matter was well known
and Ma urged Japan to properly handle the issue.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Visit
7. Asked for China's response to statements by U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum regarding Chinese drywall
sold in the United States, Ma said that he didn't want to comment on
the issue but noted that business-to-business ties were in the
interests of both countries.
8. The case of British citizen Akmal Shaikh, sentenced to death for
smuggling four kilograms of heroin in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous
region in 2007 was a judicial issue and was being handled according
to Chinese law, the spokesman maintained.
EU and ASEAN Summits
9. The MFA would release more information shortly on Premier Wen
Jiabao's attendance at the upcoming ASEAN summit to be held in
Thailand. China would work with relevant parties to make the
meetings successful, said Ma. China and the European Union were
also holding discussions on the next round of the China-EU summit.
10. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang would visit the Ukraine,
Albania and Estonia from October 26 to November 3. Wang Qishan
would host U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade
Representative Ronald Kirk for the 20th U.S.-China Joint Commission
on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) on the 29th of October in Hangzhou.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi would travel to India on October 27 for
trilateral meetings with Russia and India. During bilateral
meetings with Indian counterparts, Yang would exchange views on
issues of mutual interest including regional and international
issues. Yang Jiechi would visit the Philippines from October 28-29.