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Cablegate: Uk Response: Regarding China's Impending Intercept Flight-Test

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #0049 0111423
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 111423Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4593
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0912
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0010
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0304

S E C R E T LONDON 000049

NOFORN SIPDIS

STATE FOR ISN/MDSP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/11/2020 TAGS: MCAP PARM PREL TSPA UK

SUBJECT: UK RESPONSE: REGARDING CHINA'S IMPENDING INTERCEPT FLIGHT-TEST REF: SECSTATE 2126

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Greg Berry for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1.(SBU/NF) Poloff delivered reftel demarche and non-paper to FCO and MOD interlocutors at 1215 local time on January 11.Representing the UK were John Saltford, Deputy Team Leader, Missile Defence and Space Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO); Peter Allen, Deputy Team Leader, China and Taiwan, Far Eastern Group, FCO; and Barnaby Kistruck, Nuclear and Space Desk Officer, Counter-Proliferation and Security Cooperation Department, Ministry of Defence (MOD).

2.(S/NF) UK interlocutors welcomed information presented by Poloff and agreed that the U.S. and UK should coordinate closely in the lead-up to and in the aftermath of the intercept flight-test. Saltford said that the question for the U.S. and the UK to consider was what we could say in response to the test given that the test would likely not break any rules or, like the last test, leave debris. Saltford and Kistruck noted that the U.S. and the UK could say to China that the test goes against the spirit of what China has said in public in such forums as the Conference on Disarmament. Saltford asked whether the U.S. response would likely be a private or public one.

3.(S/NF) Allen stressed that the U.S. and the UK had to consider whether raising this issue with China would be helpful or counterproductive. Allen noted that the test would likely break no rules and asked what a coordinated response from the U.S. and the UK would hope to achieve. Allen expressed skepticism that there was much that could be said to China based on the test.

4.(S/NF) Saltford told Poloff that he would inform relevant HMG colleagues of the impending test. Saltford also said he would consult with Defence Intelligence on the matter. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
SUSMAN

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