Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08BEIJING2220
2008-06-06 10:05:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

A/S KRAMER DISCUSSES TIBETAN AND UIGHUR ISSUES

Tags:  PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF SOCI CH 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO2938
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2220/01 1581005
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 061005Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7794
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002220 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/2033
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF SOCI CH
SUBJECT: A/S KRAMER DISCUSSES TIBETAN AND UIGHUR ISSUES
WITH PRC STATE ETHNIC AFFAIRS COMMISSION

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson. Reasons
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002220

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/2033
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF SOCI CH
SUBJECT: A/S KRAMER DISCUSSES TIBETAN AND UIGHUR ISSUES
WITH PRC STATE ETHNIC AFFAIRS COMMISSION

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson. Reasons 1.
4 (b) and (d).

Summary
--------------


1. (C) In a May 27 meeting with State Ethnic Affairs
Commission Vice Minister Wu Shiming, DRL A/S Kramer urged
China to seize the opportunity to seek "real results" in the
dialogue with the Dalai Lama's representatives. Vice
Minister Wu replied that progress does not depend on the
Chinese side alone and urged those concerned with China and
Tibet to look at the Dalai Lama's actions as well as his
words. Wu agreed with A/S Kramer that only a tiny number of
Uighurs are terrorists and asserted it is Chinese law and
Chinese Government policy to protect and develop Uighur
culture. End Summary.

Minorities in China
--------------


2. (C) Vice Minister Wu noted that China's 55 ethnic
minorities comprise over 100 million people (note: 7.7% of
China's roughly 1.3 billion people). These minorities have
"significantly different levels of economic and social
development," compared to the rest of China. China is one of
the few countries to devote a specialized government body to
fulfilling the special requirements of minority groups
related to their traditional cultures. China has been a
unified multi-ethnic nation since 221 B.C. and has had a
specialized governmental department of ethnic affairs for
centuries. Wu said that China as a whole can only develop
and prosper if ethnic minority groups do also.

Tibet Concerns
--------------


3. (C) A/S Kramer said that support for China's territorial
integrity is "the core of U.S. policy" and that the United
States does not support calls for Tibetan independence.
However, the United States stresses the utmost respect for
the rights, cultures and languages of minority groups.
Speaking frankly "as a friend," Kramer said the United States
has concerns with China's "Patriotic Education Campaign" in
Tibet, which forces Tibetan monks to renounce the Dalai Lama.
Kramer noted that because many Tibetans (and others) hold

the Dalai Lama in the highest esteem, Chinese efforts to
force denunciations could lead to more resentment and,
eventually, possible violence, which the United States and
China both oppose.


4. (C) Kramer said the United States supports China's
decision to meet the Dalai Lama's representatives and sees
China's willingness to engage in dialogue as a "sign of
strength." Kramer said the Dalai Lama is influential and
highly respected and, in public and in private, rejects
violence, rejects separatism, and does not call for Tibetan
independence. Now is the time to seize the opportunity for
real results, because when China talks to the Dalai Lama "it
is talking to a reasonable man."


5. (C) EAP DAS Christensen reiterated that China's dialogue
with the Dalai Lama's representatives should "show some real
results." Some in the Tibetan movement, Christensen said,
advocate violence. The Dalai Lama renounces violence and
Tibetan independence. Thus, China should strengthen the
Dalai Lama's hand by agreeing to real progress in the
dialogue. DAS Christensen cautioned that negotiations with
the Tibetan movement will become more difficult after the
death of the Dalai Lama. Without the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan
movement will be split and find it difficult to reach
internal agreement on how to approach Beijing. The Dalai
Lama is a unifying figure dedicated to non-violence, and the
time for progress is now. Along the same lines, Christensen
urged China to distinguish between peaceful and violent
protests. Some leaders in Beijing seem to regard any protest
to be tantamount to violence, which is not only inaccurate
but also makes it impossible to engage peaceful elements in
the Tibetan movement in a constructive manner.


6. (C) Wu said he was grateful for Kramer's remarks in
support of China's territorial integrity and noted Kramer's
comment that the United States deplores violence in Tibet.
The Tibet issue, Wu said, "is not primarily a religious,
social, ethnic or cultural problem, but at its core relates
to China's sovereignty." Wu noted that protestors during
violent March disturbances burned the Chinese flag and
displayed the Tibetan exile flag. China throughout history
has exercised sovereignty over Tibet, and China's 1.3 billion
people will never accept or recognize an independent Tibet.

BEIJING 00002220 002 OF 002


China and the United States both oppose violence, and China
will not use violence against peaceful protests. Indeed, the
Chinese Government showed "great restraint" handling the
violent March protests. The Dalai Lama is clearly not only a
religious figure but a political leader. Wu urged those
interested in China and Tibet to look at the Dalai Lama's
actions as well as his words. China continues dialogue with
the Dalai Lama's representatives, and this "channel remains
open," but whether the dialogue achieves results does not
depend only on the Chinese side. As long as there is no
issue of Tibetan independence and no violence, there will be
"favorable conditions" for the dialogue.

Uighur Issues
--------------


7. (C) A/S Kramer said that the United States recognizes that
an extremely small number of Uighurs engages in terrorism.
Recognizing the evidence, the United States agreed to
designate the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) as
a terrorist organization and has shared information about
terrorist activities with the Chinese Government. However,
only a tiny number of Uighurs are engaged in terrorism, and
the United States encourages the greatest respect for Uighur
culture and language. EAP DAS Christensen said that some
nations facing a terrorist threat tend to react in a sweeping
fashion and sometimes fail to distinguish between religious
extremism and religion in general. The United States wants
China to be stable, peaceful and successful, and raises
concerns over the treatment of Uighurs in that spirit.


8. (C) Wu said China shares the U.S. view that only a few
Uighurs are terrorists. China knows that the more than eight
million Chinese Uighurs share a "splendid culture well known
all over the world and China is happy to have them as part of
the family." Respect and protection of Uighur culture is
Chinese Government policy. Wu said that he worries about
preserving all of China's minority cultures in the face of
rapid modernization. Some cultures are inevitably changing
in the face of rapid development, and such change is natural.
For example, Uighurs have not always been Muslims and,
before the 11th century, were actually Buddhists.
Nonetheless, ethnic minority cultures need to be protected
and developed in much the same way as China needs to protect
and develop its natural environment. Such a policy is not
only in China's interest but in the world's interest.


9. (U) Participants:

UNITED STATES
David J. Kramer, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy,
Rights, and Labor
Thomas Christensen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Robert K. Harris, Assistant Legal Advisor, Department of State
Richard W. Behrend, PRM Advisor, Department of State
Susan O'Sullivan, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Democracy,
Rights, and Labor, Department of State
Ted Lyng, First Secretary, Embassy Beijing (notetaker)
Jeannette M. Windon, Special Assistant, Office of Democracy
and Global Affairs, Department of State
Steve Goldrup, Second Secretary, Embassy Beijing
Andrea Goodman, Political Officer, Bureau of East Asian and
Pacific Affairs, Department of State
Vicky Segal, Interpreter

PRC
Wu Shiming, Vice Minister, State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Wang Qianli, Director General, International Department,
State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Liu Wanqing, Deputy Director General, Policy and Law
Department, State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Lan Zhiqi, Deputy Director General, Culture and Publicity
Department, State Ethnic Affairs Commission
He Yinjie, Deputy Director General, Education Department,
State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Wu Jinguang, Deputy Director General, International
Department, State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Bamo Aiyi, Deputy Director General, International Department,
State Ethnic Affairs Commission


10. (U) The delegation cleared this message.
PICCUTA