wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BEIJING1802 2009-06-30 10:51:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

PRC DEMARCHE ON POSSIBLE DALAI LAMA VISIT

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM KIRF CH 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. (C) PRC Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei met with Acting
DCM Bill Weinstein the evening of June 29 at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs to deliver a demarche protesting the
possibility of a visit to the United States by the Dalai Lama
in order to meet with senior U.S. officials. VFM He, who
speaks fluent English, noted that he was on "sensitive,
pressing and important" instructions from senior Chinese
leaders and delivered the message reading in Chinese from a
four-page prepared text.



2. (C) VFM He stated that China had repeatedly made stern
representations on the issue of visits to the United States
by the Dalai Lama. During recent telephone conversations, FM
Yang had discussed the issue with Secretary Clinton and VFM
He had himself raised it with Deputy Secretary Steinberg.
"Regrettably," VFM He said, the United States was "still
making excuses" for the Dalai Lama to visit the United States
and, to date, the U.S. government had not made any direct
response to China's representations on the issue.



3. (C) The Tibet issue concerned China's sovereignty,
territorial integrity and core interests, VFM
He continued. Tibet had never been historically independent,
yet "anti-China forces" had never ceased acts intended to
separate Tibet from China. The United States had also
repeatedly interfered in China's internal affairs by publicly
referring to the Tibet issue and the U.S. Congress had passed
a number of Tibet-related "anti-China" bills. The
establishment of a Special Coordinator for Tibet Issues, the
activities of the National Endowment for Democracy and the
year-by-year increases of U.S. government funds supporting
"Tibet independence objectives" had emboldened the Dalai Lama
group and enabled Tibet separatists to act in a reckless
manner, particularly in the period surrounding the 2008
Beijing Olympic games, VFM He said. The Chinese government
firmly opposed such acts which had also outraged the Chinese
people.



4. (C) The U.S. claimed the Dalai Lama was not calling
for Tibet independence but rather advocating for autonomy,
VFM He said. However the Dalai Lama had never recognized the
current system in Tibet. Rather, he sought to restore a
theocracy in a "greater Tibet" that occupied one quarter of
China's territory and had no historical basis. The Dalai
Lama remained the head of the so called Tibet
government-in-exile which consistently claimed Tibet
independence as its goal. In talks with the Chinese
government, the Dalai Lama's representatives ignored the
sincere goodwill of the Chinese government in order to retain
their political demands for independence, or
"semi-independence in disguise." In November, 2008 they
stopped contacts with the Chinese government and conditioned
the resumption of talks on the Chinese government's
acceptance of a memorandum with splittist elements. "How is
this not insistence on Tibet independence?" VFM He asked
rhetorically.



5. (C) VFM He claimed that the current system in Tibet
protected human rights, religious freedom and Tibet's
cultural traditions and had achieved rapid improvements in
the economic and social conditions for all Tibetans. The
Chinese government's differences with the Dalai Lama did not
concern ethnic, human rights or religious issues but rather
major principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
No one should have any illusions that China will back down or
"trade on its principles," VFM He said. The Chinese
government opposed meetings or contact with the Dalai Lama in
any capacity by officials of any country. The Dalai Lama had
not used his past visits to the United States to preach peace
or explain religion but to disseminate ideas on Tibet
independence, VFM He asserted.



6. (C) VFM said that the United States and China were
engaged in intensive preparations for upcoming high level
exchanges, and urged the United States "not to jeopardize
these goals." The United States should "correct past
mistakes" in the interests of the peoples of both countries.
In keeping with past U.S. statements recognizing Tibet as
part of China, the government of China urged the United
States to prevent disruptions to bilateral relations by not
allowing any visits by the Dalai Lama, much less any meeting
with President Obama, VFM He said.



7. (C) A/DCM Weinstein stated that the United States
respected the territorial integrity of China and considered
Tibet to be a part of China. Nonetheless, senior U.S.
officials would continue to consider requests for meetings by

BEIJING 00001802 002 OF 002


the Dalai Lama in keeping with his status as a respected
spiritual leader. A/DCM Weinstein also noted that
restrictions on visits to Tibet by U.S. diplomats made it
difficult to develop an accurate picture of conditions in the
Tibet Autonomous Region. He cited the inability of personnel
from the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu to obtain
permission to visit Tibet, despite repeated requests, and
urged the Chinese government to grant consular access to
Tibet.



8. (C) In a pull aside after the demarche, VFM He
reiterated to the A/DCM the seriousness of the message and
noted the interest of high-level Chinese officials in this
issue.
GOLDBERG