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Cablegate: President Fischer's China Visit Focused On Trade

VZCZCXRO4393
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHVI #0122 0331527
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021527Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4096
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0372

UNCLAS VIENNA 000122

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ETRD ECIN CH TW AU
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT FISCHER'S CHINA VISIT FOCUSED ON TRADE

1. Summary: Austrian President Fischer's January 19-22 China
visit was focused on business and trade, though he also
raised human rights and North Korea with Chinese President Hu
Jintao, according to an Austrian MFA contact. Hu said the
Government of China was pleased with President Obama's visit,
but concerned about U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. End Summary.

2. The visit marked Fischer's first official trip to China
since his election in 2004. He was accompanied by Defense
Minister Darabos, Health Minister Stoeger, MFA Secretary
General Kyrle, a group of MPs, and a large business
delegation. Herbert Pichler, MFA Unit Chief for Eastern
Asia, told us that Fischer, in his meeting with Hu, discussed
ways of increasing Austrian exports to China, which has a
large trade surplus with Austria. Pichler said Austria is
hoping to send another business delegation to China in the
near future to follow up on the President's visit. He said
Chinese FM Yang had, for scheduling reasons, postponed a
planned February 8 visit to Austria, but the GOA was hoping
the visit could take place later this year.

3. Fischer emphasized to Hu the importance of human rights
and described the historical processes leading to the
abolition of the death penalty in Austria and other EU
countries. He did not mention the recent execution in China
of a British citizen or any other specific human
rights-related cases in China, Pichler said. Fischer raised
human rights in part on the assumption that reporters would
ask whether the issue was discussed, which they did, he said.

4. The Austrian President said the GOA and other EU
governments would like to see a resumption of the six-party
talks on North Korea, and asked Hu how he viewed the
prospects for negotiations. Hu said China was in favor of
resuming the talks, and was prepared to play a constructive
role.

5. Hu told Fischer the Government of China was pleased with
the visit of President Obama and believed that the transition
to a new U.S. government had gone more smoothly, in terms of
bilateral relations, than Chinese officials had expected. He
added, however, that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan undermined
good relations. The Chinese President compared Taiwan to
Hong Kong and Macau; Pichler said Fischer took this to mean
that Taiwan could be part of China while maintaining a
separate political and economic system. Hu also averred that
the Western media were exaggerating China's power, creating a
false image of China's rise as a threat.

6. The two presidents discussed plans to stage cultural
events in Austria and China in 2011 to mark the 40th
anniversary of bilateral relations.

7. Pichler said he had not received a readout of Defense
Minister Darabos' meeting with his Chinese counterpart.
According to press reports, the ministers agreed to increase
contacts between leaders of the two armed forces. Pichler
said Health Minister Stoeger and his Chinese counterpart
signed a number of agreements on cooperation in the medical
sector.
EACHO

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