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WikiLeaks: NZ on OIE and China/Taiwan

WikiLeaks cable: NZ on OIE and China/Taiwan

This is one of the cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.


Classified By: Political-Economic Counselor Katherine B. Hadda, for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (c)

1. (C) This message contains an action request, at para 5.

2. (C) Summary: Until today (May 24), the GNZ had intended to abstain on the OIE resolution that would require Taiwan to participate under the name Taiwan, China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) have now heard from the NZ Embassy in Washington that a new, compromise text has been put forward by the United States and EU which is acceptable to both China and Taiwan. MFAT has asked the OIE Chair to clarify who has negotiated the text, and which Chinese and Taiwan officials have OK'd it. If all sides are really in agreement, MFAT will ask the Chair to ensure the new resolution is put forward. Post would also be happy to provide MFAT with any background information Washington could provide us. End Summary.

3. (C) On May 17, PE Couns shared reftel demarche on the PRC/Taiwan resolution with David Taylor, Director of MFAT's North Asia Division. On May 24, Taylor's Deputy Jane Mulryan told PE Couns that MFAT had just received an urgent message from Washington with a new resolution text, reportedly put forward by the US and EU and acceptable to both China and Taiwan. Mulryan said that MFAT has been unable to determine who actually negotiated the text, and whether the Chinese and Taiwan officials who endorsed it had the authority to do so. MFAT has asked for clarification from both the NZ Embassy in Washington and the OIE Chair (Barry O'Neal, a Kiwi). If the Chair can confirm that all sides are happy with the new resolution, MFAT will ask that he put the resolution forward. (NB: Mulryan also reminded PE Couns that although O'Neal is a New Zealander he is the Chair and does not represent (or formally answer to) the GNZ. End NB.)

4. (C) Mulryan said that before this latest development, MFAT had planned to ask Ministers to permit the NZ delegation to abstain on the resolution. Now, Ministers have also been asked to give the delegation flexibility to vote for a new text if one is put forward that both China and Taiwan can agree to without splitting apart the organization. Mulryan also said that she expects that Chinese officials will raise this issue with Foreign Minister Peters, who is currently on official travel in Beijing. She anticipates that the PRC will be surprised that New Zealand plans to abstain on the original resolution if it is not replaced. PRC officials have reportedly said they have enough OIE votes to pass the original resolution, and have made it clear that they will consider any abstentions as a "no" vote for China. Taiwan, on the other hand, will consider any abstentions very positively, Mulryan said. She also said that the Japanese Embassy had also contacted her to urge that New Zealand vote to remove the original PRC resolution from the ballot.

5. (C) Action request: Post would be happy to back-stop MFAT's search for background information about the new resolution if helpful to Washington. Please provide us with any information you would like us to share from this end.

End action request.



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