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Cablegate: November 12 Mfa Press Briefing: Obama Visit, Obama-Dalai

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6786
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003091

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TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PHSA CH

SUBJECT: NOVEMBER 12 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: OBAMA VISIT, OBAMA-DALAI
LAMA, BLACK JAILS, PIRATES

1. Key points at the November 12 MFA press briefing:

--The U.S. President will have the opportunity to speak with youth
in Shanghai -- China and the United States are "consulting on the
specific arrangements" about media coverage.

--China's opposition to foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama
is clear and consistent.

--China hopes that "Obama would have a better understanding of the
issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity" regarding Tibet
because as the first black President, Obama understands the
importance of President Lincoln's abolition of slavery. China's
abolition of the feudal serf system in Tibet in 1959 was "just like
Lincoln's abolition of slavery"

-- China hopes the United States respects China's position and will
appropriately handle the Tibet issue to ensure the smooth
development of U.S.-China relations.

--There are no "so-called black jails" in China.

President Obama Visit
---------------------

2. U.S. President Obama would meet with Chinese leaders, meet with
Chinese youth, and visit historic and scenic sites in Beijing and
Shanghai, said Qin Gang at the November 12 regularly scheduled MFA
press briefing. The U.S. President would have the opportunity to
speak with youth in Shanghai -- China and the United States were
"consulting on the specific arrangements." When asked for further
clarification on whether the U.S. President's event in Shanghai
would be broadcast live on television, Qin reiterated that China and
the United States were consulting on the specific details.

Obama-Dalai Lama
----------------

3. Qin said China had made its position on foreign leaders meeting
with the Dalai Lama clear on many occasions. China's opposition to
the Dalai Lama's activities in other countries was "consistent and
clear cut." Qin referred to a speech President Obama gave
expressing gratitude to President Abraham Lincoln for abolishing
slavery and paving the way for Obama to become the first black
President of the United States. Qin said that President Obama
praised Lincoln for playing an important role in "maintaining
sovereignty and territorial integrity." The Dalai Lama was engaged
in "activities to split the motherland and undermine national
unity." China hoped that "Obama would have a better understanding
of the issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity" because as
the first black President, Obama understood the importance of
President Lincoln's abolition of slavery. Qin said that China's
abolition of the feudal serf system in Tibet in 1959 was "just like
Lincoln's abolition of slavery" and China hoped President Obama
would better understand China's position.

4. China hoped Obama would "hear the voice of the Chinese people,"
who overwhelmingly opposed President Obama meeting the Dalai Lama.
The "opinion of the Chinese people could not be insulted" and the
United States should respect China's sovereignty and territorial
integrity. This was one of China's core interests and concerns.

5. Asked what impact a meeting between President Obama and the
Dalai Lama would have on U.S.-China relations, Qin stated that China
"very clearly opposed any foreign leader meeting with the Dalai
Lama." U.S.-China relations were very important and China cherished
good relations with the United States based on the principle of
mutual respect, especially for core interests and concerns. Tibet
was a core interest and concern for China and China hoped the United
States respected China's position and would appropriately handle the
situation to ensure the smooth development of U.S.-China relations.


Black Jails
-----------

6. Recent western media and NGO reports accused China of
maintaining "black jails" where citizens attempting to bring
grievances to the central government were held in makeshift
detention centers, deprived of food and sleep, beaten and
threatened. Qin offered his assurance that there were no "so-called
black jails" in China and he did not know about the "so-called"
Human Rights report on black jails. China put its people first and
all levels of government followed "proposals and suggestions" from
the people. If people were dissatisfied they had "proper channels"
to "report to the relevant authorities" so they could deal with the
people's concerns. When asked how he could be so confident that

BEIJING 00003091 002 OF 002


China did not have black jails when the Chinese media reported about
the arrest of a guard from a black jail on charges of raping an
inmate, Qin said he was not aware of the specific case but the
competent authorities would deal with the case according to the
law.

Pirates
-------

7. When asked about reports that the hostage situation on the
Chinese-flagged vessel the De Xin Hai would be resolved within six
weeks, and for comment on the Chinese government's involvement in
rescue efforts, Qin said that the competent authorities were
"sparing no effort" to do rescue work and "ensure the safety of the
people" taken hostage and the smooth progress of rescue efforts.
Qin said it was not convenient to provide more details.

Rio Tinto Investigation
-----------------------

8. In response to a question on reports that Australian Minister
for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith had said the Chinese investigation
into the Rio Tinto case would be extended for another two months,
Qin said that the Rio Tinto investigation was "handled by the
competent authorities" and those authorities would "follow the
relevant laws and the consular agreements between China and
Australia."


Foreign Journalists
--------------------

9. Asked why the Kashgar Foreign Affairs Office was barring
journalists from visiting Kashgar, Qin stated that China had laws
and regulations covering journalists that were also applicable in
Kashgar. If journalists encountered difficulties or problems, they
should report the issue to the competent local authorities or to the
MFA Information Office, which would then help journalists with
legitimate press activity.

Visits
------

10. People's Political Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin
planned to visit Brazil, Ecuador and Peru from November 19 to 30 to
continue to "maintain sound relations with those countries, promote
bilateral ties, and exchange views on issues of mutual interest,"
including regional and international issues. Jia would "explain
China's system including the political Consultative system." Qin
had no information on specific agreements that Jia might sign during
his visit.

11. Qin said he had no information about Saudi Arabian Minister of
Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi's visit to China and
advised journalists to consult the relevant authorities.


HUNTSMAN

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