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Cablegate: January 5 Mfa Press Briefing: U.S.-Sino Relations,

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FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7503
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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1445
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000013


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TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PARM SOCI CH NK UK IR VM PG XA

SUBJECT: JANUARY 5 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: U.S.-SINO RELATIONS,
CHINA-AFRICA, EXECUTION OF UK CITIZEN, IRAN, DPRK

1. Key points at the January 5 MFA press briefing included:

-- On trends in U.S-China relations, the two sides worked from a
"comprehensive common ground," believed in the peaceful development
of the relationship, and respected the "core interest" of each
other.

-- The PRC followed the "ethics and customs" of Shaikh in the
implementation of his death sentence and was dissatisfied with EU
remarks that encroached on China's "judicial sovereignty."

-- "Dialogue and negotiation" were the way forward in dealing with
the Iranian nuclear issue.

-- The PRC and Africa shared a "strategic partnership" based on
"equality and mutual benefits" and close coordination on
international affairs.

U.S.- China Relations in 2010
-----------------------------

2. On media predictions that U.S.-Sino relations will deteriorate
in 2010, Jiang replied that China and the U.S. worked from a
"comprehensive common ground," believed in the peaceful development
of the relationship, and respected the "core interests" of one
other. Taiwan and Tibet remained core interests for the PRC and
China firmly opposed the sale of arms to Taiwan. Jiang urged the
U.S. to "realize the gravity" of the situation and not sell arms to
Taiwan. China was opposed to the leaders of the U.S. and any other
nations or international organizations meeting with the Dalai Lama.

The Execution of Akmal Shaikh
-----------------------------

3. China had explained its position in the execution of British
citizen Akmal Shaikh on many occasions, Jiang said. The case was
handled according to Chinese law and China's independent judicial
authority, she claimed. The PRC respected the "ethics and customs"
of Shaikh in the implementation of his death sentence. Shaikh's
case was of a criminal nature and unrelated to Sino-UK relations,
Jiang asserted, adding that China was focused on "common interests"
and developing relations with the United Kingdom. The PRC was "very
dissatisfied" with the EU President's public display of displeasure
towards China in the Shaikh case, which was a clear infringement on
China's judicial sovereignty.

U.S. Dialogue with North Korea
------------------------------

4. China supported increased contact and dialogue between the
United States and North Korea, Jiang stated. The goal for all
parties involved was the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and the
denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

No Exit Permission for DPRK Border Crossers
-------------------------------------------

5. On reports that China had refused since April 2009 to grant exit
permission to DPRK citizens that cross into China, Jiang responded
that China believed such border crossers entered China illegally,
and foreign embassies and consulates in China "should not give
shelter to them." China's position on these "illegal immigrants"
remained unchanged, Jiang concluded.

Sanctions on Iran
-----------------

6. China had taken note of the news that the U.S. and other
countries wanted to impose further sanctions on Iran, said Jiang.
China believed that "dialogue and negotiation" were the way forward
and that there was "still room for diplomatic measures" with Iran.
The international community should come up with the "best possible
plan" to resume talks with Iran, Jiang said.

Chinese Websites Supporting Iranian Protestors
--------------------------------------------- -
7. A question was asked on the government's reaction to Chinese
websites that have appeared supporting Iranian protestors calling
for democratic reforms in Iran, but the question was not translated
by the interpreter and was ignored by the spokesperson.

FM Yang Jiechi to Visit Africa and Saudi Arabia
--------------------------------------------- --


BEIJING 00000013 002 OF 002


8. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit Africa and Saudi Arabia
from January 6-13, Jiang reported. He departed this morning for the
Maldives to hold meetings today with President Mohamed Nasheed and
Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed, and will travel on to Kenya (January
6-7), Nigeria (7-9), Sierra Leone (9-10), Algeria (10-11), Morocco
(11-12), and Saudi Arabia (12-13). This was the 20th consecutive
year that the Chinese Foreign Minister chose Africa for the first
overseas trip of the calendar year, Jiang claimed, underscoring the
deep friendship between China and Africa. The PRC and Africa shared
a "strategic partnership" based on "equality and mutual benefit," as
well as close coordination on international affairs. During the 4th
Forum on Cooperation between China and Africa held in November in
Egypt, the two sides laid out the "future course for cooperation,"
which included eight new measures of cooperation. China will
continue to "join hands" with its friends in Africa to increase
cooperation and "enhance strategic partnerships" for the well-being
of the African people, Jiang added.


China's Role in the World Economy
---------------------------------

9. In response to a recent article in the UK's Guardian newspaper
questioning the influence on the world economy from the rise of
China's economy, spokesperson Jiang Yu responded that the root cause
of the international financial crisis was "obvious to all." In the
past when developing countries had economic troubles western
countries were always quick to place blame on the countries
themselves. Yet with this most recent financial crisis, while
everyone knew the root cause came from the U.S. and Europe, western
countries sought to place blame on others, she argued. "What kind
of logic was that?" asked Jiang. China's economy was deeply rooted
in and contributed to the world economy. The future of the world
economy does not depend on just one country, and the key was to
increase economic cooperation between countries, Jiang said.

China-Australia Oil Contracts
-----------------------------

10. Spokesperson Jiang claimed to be unfamiliar with the details of
media reports that oil contracts between China and Australia have
been cut off. China and Australia had "highly complementary"
economies and worked from the basis of "common interest," she said.

PRC Development of Nansha Islands
---------------------------------

11. China took note of Vietnam's demand that China end its project
in the Hoang Sa Archipelago to develop it as a tourist designation,
Jiang said, but maintained that China has undisputed sovereignty
over the Nansha (Spratly) Islands.

World Economic Forum 2010
-------------------------

12. China will be represented at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, January 27-31. The PRC had always supported the World
Economic Forum and would send a "high-level" delegation to attend
the meeting, Jiang said.

Senior Appointments at the MFA
------------------------------

13. The MFA will release information on the reassignment and
appointment of senior MFA officials in "due course" and interested
parties should monitor the MFA's website.

GOLDBERG

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