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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BEIJING2021 2009-07-16 09:52:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

MFA OFFICIALS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT U.S. POLICY ON

Tags:   PREL PGOV EINV CH HK 
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VZCZCXRO8887
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2021/01 1970952
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 160952Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5222
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002021 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/16/2034
TAGS: PREL PGOV EINV CH HK
SUBJECT: MFA OFFICIALS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT U.S. POLICY ON
HONG KONG

Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor Ben Moeling.
Reasons 1.4 (b), (d).

Summary
-------



1. (C) In June 16 meetings with visiting Hong Kong
Consul General Joseph Donovan, MFA officials urged
the U.S. to act cautiously toward the universal
suffrage question in Hong Kong, but welcomed private
advice from Washington on the issue. One official
commented that the large June 4 vigil in Hong Kong
this year showed that democracy is still strong in
Hong Kong. The officials expressed opposition to
the possible renewal of the U.S. Hong Kong Policy
Act's requirement for a periodic report on Hong
Kong, calling it "interference" in Hong Kong
affairs. On economic matters, one official
commented that Beijing is helping Hong Kong to deal
with the global financial crisis and that the
promotion of Shanghai as a regional financial center
would not harm Hong Kong's status as an
international financial center. In response to
challenges faced by major U.S. investors in Macao,
the MFA official asserted that dialogue channels are
open for U.S. investors to discuss their concerns
with the Central Government. End Summary.


Progression toward Universal Suffrage


--------------------------





2. (C) On June 16, visiting U.S. Hong Kong Consul
General Joe Donovan visited the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and met with Deng Zhonghua, Director General
for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs and Ding
Xiaowen, Acting Director General for North American
and Oceanian Affairs, to discuss bilateral relations
and issues related to Hong Kong and Macao. In both
meetings, CG Donovan said that the United States
government remains supportive of one country-two
systems and wants the transition to universal
suffrage to be successful. Washington is not only
interested in the transition to universal suffrage
for selection of the Chief Executive in 2017, but
also in electoral reforms in 2012. The United
States places great importance on Chief Executive
Donald Tsang's statements that he will begin
consultations on electoral reform later this year,
no matter what the state of the global economy. The
principle of universal suffrage is fundamental but
the question of how candidates are nominated and
selected is also critically important, CG Donovan
stated.



3. (C) The MFA officials urged caution in the U.S.
approach on universal suffrage. DG Deng agreed that
"everyone is concerned" about the transition to
universal suffrage in Hong Kong, but advised that
such concerns be raised privately rather than
publicly. Ding noted that universal suffrage in
2017 is possible because the Central Government has
allowed it. He stressed, however, that since Hong
Kong was a colony for so long, caution was necessary
in order to avoid mistakes or setbacks. Ding said
that China welcomed advice from friends, including
the U.S. government, noting that we should all
improve our systems. Ding stated that the Hong Kong
people are more confident than they were ten years
ago and cited the June 4 Tiananmen vigil as proof
that democracy has remained strong. "The whole world
has been watching Hong Kong," he said, so it is
impossible for the Central Government to "say one
thing about democracy and do another."

Don't Renew Hong Kong Policy Act Report


--------------------------





4. (C) Unsolicited, both MFA officials expressed
opposition to a portion of the FY 2010 Foreign
Relations Authorization Act that would the renew the
U.S. Hong Kong Policy Act Report requirement, which
expired in 2007. Deng said that this act and the
report represented "interference" in Hong Kong
affairs. Sometimes it is better to "not say
anything" he argued. Ding expressed particular
concern over the provision in the Authorization Act
that mandates that the State Department produce an

BEIJING 00002021 002 OF 002


annual report on developments in Hong Kong through
2020, the earliest date that universal suffrage can
be implemented for Legislative Council elections.
Ding expressed hope that this portion of the bill
would be deleted.

Economic Assistance for Hong Kong


--------------------------





5. (C) DG Deng said that the Central Government is
doing what it can to help Hong Kong deal with the
global financial crisis. Steps taken to date have
included helping to recapitalize Hong Kong banks,
stimulating consumer demand in the Mainland for Hong
Kong products, and including Hong Kong
representatives in the G20 summits. In response to
CG Donovan's question about the impact on Hong Kong
of the Central Government's efforts to develop
Shanghai as a regional financial center by 2020,
Deng cited Premier Wen Jiabao's assurance that Hong
Kong would retain its position as an international
financial center. He argued that the promotion of
Shanghai is not contradictory to the goal of helping
Hong Kong maintain its prosperity and unique status
as a shipping, trade, logistics and aviation center.

U.S. Investments in Macao


--------------------------





6. (C) CG Donovan pointed out that U.S. investors
are proud of their investments in Macao and want to
be good corporate citizens. They do not just want
to promote the gaming industry, but also want to
help Macau succeed in its goal to become a regional
and global tourism, gaming and exhibition center.
U.S. companies have worked closely with the Macao
SAR government on issues such law enforcement
cooperation. They have had difficulty, however, in
meeting with Mainland officials to discuss concerns
related to their investments. Donovan suggested
that Central Government officials engage in a
dialogue with U.S. investors in Macau to explain
their concerns and explore possible solutions. Deng
asserted that channels are open for dialogue between
U.S. investors and the MFA Commissioner and Central
Government Liaison Office (CGLO) in Macao. CG
Donovan noted that the CGLO officials in Hong Kong
and Macao have been unwilling to meet with him and
that his requested meeting with HKMAO officials in
Beijing was turned down as "inconvenient."
GOLDBERG