Viewing cable 09BEIJING1176, XXXXXXXXXXXXDISCUSSES G-20, DPRK,
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|09BEIJING1176||2009-04-30 13:01||2010-11-29 21:09||SECRET||Embassy Beijing|
VZCZCXRO3320 OO RUEHBC RUEHCN RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHGH RUEHKUK RUEHVC DE RUEHBJ #1176/01 1201307 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 301307Z APR 09 FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3773 INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 6920 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0575 RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 BEIJING 001176 SIPDIS EO 12958 DECL: 04/30/2034 TAGS PREL, ECON, EFIN, PARM, PHUM, KUNR, CH, TW, KN, KS, JA, IR, PK, AF SUBJECT: XXXXXXXXXXXXDISCUSSES G-20, DPRK, IRAN, AF/PAK, UNSC REFORM, TAIWAN, TIBET WITH CHARGE Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Dan Piccuta. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). Summary ------- ¶1. (C) Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the upcoming May World Health Assembly (WHA) meetings demonstrated what could be achieved based on “one China, very broadly interpreted,” XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX working lunch hosted by the Charge d’Affaires. XXXXXXXXXXXX said he would ask for appropriate meetings in Washington to discuss the dates and agenda of the next G-20 summit. XXXXXXXXXXXX reviewed several issues he hoped to discuss during his upcoming visit to Washington: On North Korea, China encouraged the United States to re-engage the DPRK, but if the Six-Party Talks were suspended for an extended period, we should consider maintaining engagement in other ways. On Iran, Beijing appreciated the “bold steps” taken by Washington and had told Tehran that this represented a good opportunity for Iran to resume a positive role in the region. On Afghanistan/Pakistan, XXXXXXXXXXXX asked to see a list of items that would be transported via the proposed Northern Distribution Network, given that “non-lethal” is a broad and vague term. ¶2. (S) Summary Continued: XXXXXXXXXXXX raised concerns over China’s “core interests” of Tibet and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, which he said could “derail” bilateral cooperation. The Charge raised the Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng human rights cases, to which XXXXXXXXXXXX replied with standard language about Chinese law. The Charge asked for assistance in expediting the exit from China of two North Koreans from the U.S. Embassy compound; XXXXXXXXXXXX promised to assist. The Charge urged China to press North Korea to release the two detained American journalists; XXXXXXXXXXXX said China would. XXXXXXXXXXXX expressed concern over building “momentum” on UNSC reform and asked the United States not to be “proactive” on the matter. The Charge expressed concern that differences regarding a Conditions of Construction Agreement (COCA) II for our new Consulate General in Guangzhou had begun to affect other parts of our support for each other’s practical needs including residential leases and asked for XXXXXXXXXXXX’s assistance in stopping this trend. The Charge and XXXXXXXXXXXX agreed on the importance of high-level meetings to the bilateral relationship and reviewed a number of recent and upcoming visits. End Summary. TAIWAN OBSERVERSHIP AT WHA -------------------------- ¶3. (C) The agreement allowing Taiwan to participate as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA) meetings in Geneva in May was “one step forward” toward better cross-Strait relations and demonstrated what could be achieved through consultations based on “one China, very broadly interpreted,” XXXXXXXXXXXX said at a XXXXXXXXXXXX working lunch hosted by the Charge d’Affaires. Cross-Strait relations were “improving,” and as they did, China hoped the United States would feel “less burdened, frustrated and nervous,” XXXXXXXXXXXX said. The Charge congratulated XXXXXXXXXXXX on the agreement, noting its timeliness in light of concerns over the H1N1 outbreak, while expressing hope that both sides would continue to take steps to increase mutual trust. IMPORTANCE OF BILATERAL VISITS ------------------------------- ¶4. (C) The Charge and XXXXXXXXXXXX agreed on the importance of high-level meetings to the bilateral relationship and reviewed a number of recent and upcoming visits. Both concurred that Chief of Naval Operations ADM Roughead’s visit to China was a success. The Charge emphasized that, as President Obama told Foreign Minister Yang, the United States wanted to move relations between our two militaries forward. XXXXXXXXXXXX agreed that State Councilor Liu Yandong’s visit, including her meeting with Secretary Clinton, had been productive. XXXXXXXXXXXX said Liu came away “very impressed” by her interaction with Secretary Clinton and wanted very much to “follow up” on the issues they discussed such as education, something very basic and important to the people of both countries. ¶5. (C) Although we recognize the importance of the proposed visit by Politburo Member and CCP Organization Department BEIJING 00001176 002 OF 005 Head Li Yuanchao, it would be easier to arrange a successful visit if Li could postpone his travel to a less busy time, the Charge said. XXXXXXXXXXXX replied that the visit of Li, a “future leader of China,” was “very important,” so China hoped the United States would provide a full schedule of meetings with senior leaders despite the fact that those leaders recently met with State Councilor Liu. The Charge urged XXXXXXXXXXXX to arrange a useful schedule for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, including a trip to Tibet or Tibetan areas, noting that the Speaker was also particularly interested in climate change and environmental issues. China would treat Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a type of “state visit,” XXXXXXXXXXXX replied. Nevertheless, given her “tight schedule,” the Speaker would likely “not have time” to visit Tibet, XXXXXXXXXXXX said. ¶6. (C) Reviewing the upcoming meetings between Presidents Obama and Hu this year,XXXXXXXXXXXX noted that, over the past 30 years, the U.S.-China relationship had been driven by high-level visits to a greater degree than other bilateral relationships. With these meetings between our two presidents in mind, both sides should be “careful” and act in ways that benefit the long-term interests of the bilateral relationship. Our two presidents would meet several times in the coming months, including at the G-8, G-20 and APEC summits, after which China anticipated President Obama would visit China. We should plan our work for the bilateral relationship in the year ahead with the President’s visit to China in mind. G-20: DATES AND TOPICS ----------------------- ¶7. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX stated that, XXXXXXXXXXXX he would ask to meet with NSC’s Michael Froman in Washington and was considering requesting an appropriate meeting with the Treasury Department. The topics would include the dates of the next G-20 meeting, as well as the agenda. ¶8. (C) In the first two G-20 Financial Summits, U.S. and Chinese positions had been close, closer even than the United States and Europe, XXXXXXXXXXXX noted. Views on major issues such as the need for fiscal stimulus and reform of international financial institutions were similar. Leading up to the London Summit, XXXXXXXXXXXX felt that the U.S.-U.K.-China “troika” had been effective: Beijing could persuade the developing countries, Washington could influence Japan and South Korea, and London could bring along the Europeans. ¶9. (C) The first two G-20 summits, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX had succeeded in boosting confidence and agreeing on measures to help international financial institutions cope with the crisis. Now, the G-20 had entered an implementation period. He outlined four objectives that he intended to discuss with Froman: A) Establish what stimulus and macroeconomic policy coordination the G-20 economies needed to implement to ensure economic recovery; B) Strengthen the message against protectionism so that leaders did not “break their promises as soon as they returned home”; C) Set a clear timetable for IMF reform, establishing whether the New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB) decisions had any relation to future quota; and D) Reforming the international monetary system, vis-a-vis the dollar and an alternative reserve currency such as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). ¶10. (C) Expounding on this last topic, XXXXXXXXXXXX stated that a stable U.S. dollar was good for China, and Beijing had no interest in “destabilizing the system.” The system, however, was “not perfect and needs reform.” He said China had a huge stake in how the United States managed the dollar. Further, XXXXXXXXXXXX suggested that the RMB could become a component of the SDR. Mentioning that the RMB could compose two percent of the SDR value, XXXXXXXXXXXX noted that this was more of a symbolic than practical change. ¶11. (U) Note: XXXXXXXXXXXX’s comments on the Strategic and Economic Dialogue will be reported septel. VFM HE’S WASHINGTON VISIT: DPRK, IRAN, AF/PAK --------------------------------------------- BEIJING 00001176 003 OF 005 ¶12. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX reviewed several issues he hoped to discuss during his upcoming visit to Washington, including North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan/Pakistan. On North Korea, XXXXXXXXXXXX hoped to hold “informal consultations” in Washington on how generally to approach the North Koreans, not just through the Six-Party Talks. Washington and Beijing nevertheless needed to discuss how to maintain momentum in the Six-Party Talks so as to preserve our common interest in stability of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea wanted to engage directly with the United States and was therefore acting like a “spoiled child” in order to get the attention of the “adult.” China therefore encouraged the United States, “after some time,” to start to re-engage the DPRK. In this regard, it was good that the New York channel remained open, XXXXXXXXXXXX observed. Noting that Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth would visit Beijing in May, XXXXXXXXXXXX said that, if the Six-Party Talks would be on hold for an extended period, then the Six Parties needed to find ways to continue to engage the DPRK and each other, either bilaterally or even perhaps trilaterally. The Charge noted that we should be careful not to reinforce Pyongyang’s bad behavior. ¶13. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX also hoped to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue in Washington. Beijing appreciated the “bold steps” taken by Washington. China had told Tehran that this represented a good opportunity for Iran to resume playing a positive role in the region. Though such an Iranian role made moderate Arab countries “jittery,” XXXXXXXXXXXX said, this should be a matter the United States could “manage.” What was essential was to get Iran involved positively in the region again. ¶14. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX said he also hoped to discuss Afghanistan/Pakistan. The Charge stated that, even though XXXXXXXXXXXX was unable to announce new money for Afghanistan at the April 17 Pakistan Donors’ Conference, China still had an opportunity to contribute to the security and stability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. One way to do so would be to agree to a re-supply route via China for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. On the re-supply route question, XXXXXXXXXXXX said China would like to see a list of items that would be transported on the proposed route, noting that “non-lethal” is a broad and vague term. TIBET AND TAIWAN AS “CORE INTERESTS” ------------------------------------ ¶15. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX raised concerns over China’s “core interests” of Tibet and Taiwan, which he said could “derail” bilateral cooperation. On Tibet, China had heard “rumors” that the Dalai Lama would attend a “seminar” in the United States in late September or early October, and that President Obama was “likely” to meet with him then. Noting that there was no need for both sides to reiterate our respective positions on Tibet, XXXXXXXXXXXX said the critical question was whether both sides would agree to “take care” of each other’s “core interests.” When considering such sensitive issues in the context of the bilateral relationship, they could be viewed either as “obstacles” or as “core interests.” It did not matter whether one side “liked or disliked” such matters; rather, in a “mature, close and important” bilateral relationship such as ours, the question was whether the key interests for each side would be accommodated. The United States had its core interests, XXXXXXXXXXXX asserted, such as U.S. naval vessels that had operated near the Chinese coast. Both sides agreed to “step down” over that issue, despite the strongly held views of the Chinese public. Regarding the Dalai Lama, China hoped the United States would deny him a visa, and if not, then agree to hold no official meetings with him, including no meeting with President Obama. ¶16. (C) The Charge expressed concern with China’s defining Tibet as a “core issue” with the apparent expectation that others would “step back.” Instead, our two sides should agree to continue to discuss the issue in an attempt to resolve our differences. The United States recognized that Tibet is a part of China. Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama is a respected religious leader and Nobel Laureate, and U.S. officials meet with him in that capacity. Future meetings by U.S. officials with the Dalai Lama could not be ruled out. Moreover, there were serious concerns among the U.S. public, the Administration and Congress over the situation in Tibetan areas of China. China should take steps to address Tibetans’ legitimate grievances and engage the Dalai Lama’s representatives in productive dialogue. Denying a visa to the Dalai Lama was not being contemplated. BEIJING 00001176 004 OF 005 ¶17. (C) Another issue that could “derail” relations was arms sales to Taiwan, XXXXXXXXXXXX said. China had long opposed U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, especially advanced weapons sales. China was concerned by reports of possible “very important” and “potent” arms sales to Taiwan, including 60 Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 C/D fighter aircraft. Such arms sales were a “very serious issue” for China, XXXXXXXXXXXX said. The Charge replied that there had been no change to our one China policy based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). In accordance with the TRA, the United States made available to Taiwan defense articles that allowed Taiwan to maintain a credible defense. The Charge urged China to take steps to reduce military deployments aimed at Taiwan. HUMAN RIGHTS: LIU XIAOBO, GAO ZHISHENG --------------------------------------- ¶18. (C) The Charge raised two human rights cases, inquiring as to the status, location and treatment of dissident writer and Charter 08 signatory Liu Xiaobo and rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. XXXXXXXXXXXX replied that, as a sign of the “maturity” of our bilateral relationship, he had “repeatedly” listened to our concerns regarding these two cases. Both cases would be handled “according to law” and in accordance with China’s legal/judicial system. Such cases were “sensitive” and should be handled “carefully,” XXXXXXXXXXXX said, pledging that he nevertheless would look into the cases “to the extent possible.” NORTH KOREAN “GUESTS” --------------------- ¶19. (S) The Charge emphasized the importance of expediting exit procedures from China for two North Koreans who had entered the Embassy compound and asked for XXXXXXXXXXXX’s assistance in doing so. XXXXXXXXXXXX said he would look into the matter. U.S. JOURNALISTS DETAINED IN DPRK --------------------------------- ¶20. (C) The Charge urged China to press the DPRK to release the two American journalists detained in North Korea. XXXXXXXXXXXX replied that the United States could “rest assured” that China would do so. UNSC REFORM ----------- ¶21. (C) China was concerned by “momentum” that was building on UN Security Council reform, which was “not good” for the P-5, XXXXXXXXXXXX said. China wanted the United States to maintain its position on UNSC reform and not be “proactive” on the matter, which the PRC feared could result in a UN General Assembly resolution on the subject. The P-5 “club” should not be “diluted,” XXXXXXXXXXXX said. If we end up with a “P-10,” both China and the United States would “be in trouble.” Moreover, it would be difficult for the Chinese public to accept Japan as a permanent member of the UNSC. The Charge replied that the Administration had not completed its policy review on UNSC expansion, so we do not yet have a position on specific proposals. Nonetheless, the United States believed that UN members should be allowed to state their positions freely and openly without undue P-5 influence. Regarding Japan, the Charge said that, while no decision had been made about which countries to support for permanent membership on the UNSC, it was hard to envision any expansion of the Council that did not include Japan, which was the second-largest contributor to the UN budget. COCA II: AVOIDING A “TRADE WAR” -------------------------------- ¶22. (C) The Charge expressed concern that differences regarding a Conditions of Construction Agreement (COCA) II for our new Consulate General in Guangzhou had begun to leak into other areas. The Charge asked XXXXXXXXXXXX to speak with the appropriate PRC officials to stop this trend before significant damage was done. The COCA II team from Washington held good discussions in Beijing last week with MFA DG for Administrative Affairs Li Chao regarding the new CG Guangzhou complex. The U.S. Embassy today had formally invited DG Li to Washington in May for further talks. One serious problem, the Charge noted, was the Chinese having moved to block new housing leases for the U.S. Embassy in BEIJING 00001176 005 OF 005 Beijing in an apparent attempt to gain leverage on office properties. XXXXXXXXXXXX said this situation sounded like a “trade war.” The Charge asked XXXXXXXXXXXX to help stop this matter before it led to a downward cycle. XXXXXXXXXXXX said he believed real progress had been made and differences narrowed during the most recent round of COCA II talks and that China did not want a “trade war” over COCA II issues. He pledged to “look into” the matter. PICCUTA