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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BEIJING2923
2009-10-22 00:14:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

DEPUTY SECRETARY STEINBERG'S SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

Tags:   OVIP  STEINBERG  JAMES  PREL  MNUC  ETRD  ECON 
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OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDBU RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHNH RUEHPW RUEHSL
RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2923/01 2950014
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 220014Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6521
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 BEIJING 002923 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR D, EAP, EAP/CM, EAP/K
PACOM FOR FPA PICCUTA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/2029
TAGS: OVIP STEINBERG JAMES PREL MNUC ETRD ECON
SN, JP, CH, KN
SUBJECT: DEPUTY SECRETARY STEINBERG'S SEPTEMBER 29, 2009
CONVERSATION WITH PRC EVFM WANG GUANGYA

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson. Reasons
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 BEIJING 002923

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR D, EAP, EAP/CM, EAP/K
PACOM FOR FPA PICCUTA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/2029
TAGS: OVIP STEINBERG JAMES PREL MNUC ETRD ECON
SN, JP, CH, KN
SUBJECT: DEPUTY SECRETARY STEINBERG'S SEPTEMBER 29, 2009
CONVERSATION WITH PRC EVFM WANG GUANGYA

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


1. (SBU) September 29, 2009; 12:00 p.m.; Ministry of Foreign
Affairs; PRC


2. (SBU) Participants:

U.S.
--------------
The Deputy Secretary
Amb. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Embassy Beijing
Joseph Donovan, EAP Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State
Rear Admiral Charles Leidig, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Amb. Joseph DeTrani, Mission Manager for North Korea, DNI
Derek Mitchell, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense
Aubrey Carlson, Embassy Political Minister-Counselor
RDML Bradley Gerhrke, U.S. Defense Attache in Beijing
Pamela Park, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary
Robert Koepcke, Embassy Political Officer (notetaker)
James Brown, Interpreter

PRC
---
Wang Guangya, Executive Vice Foreign Minister
Guan Youfei, Ministry of National Defense, Deputy Director,
International Office
Zheng Zeguang, Director General, MFA North American and
Oceanian Affairs Department
Zhang Kunsheng, Director General, MFA Protocol Department
Yang Houlan, Ambassador for Korean Peninsula Issues
Ding Xiaowen, Deputy Director General, MFA North American and
Oceanian Affairs Department
Li Song, Deputy Director General, MFA Arms Control and
Disarmament Department
Wang Zonglai, Deputy Director General, MFA Boundary and
Maritime Affairs Department
Cong Peiwu, Counselor, MFA North American and Oceanian
Affairs Department
An Gang, Counselor and USA Division Director, MFA North
American and Oceanian Affairs Department



3. (C) SUMMARY: EFVM Wang Guangya called on the U.S. to
"maintain positive momentum" in bilateral relations ahead of
President Obama's planned November travel to China in a

September 29 meeting with Deputy Secretary Steinberg. Wang
expressed hope that President Obama would include a meeting
with NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo on his schedule. Wang agreed
with the need to include climate change and energy on the
President's agenda and said China would continue to work
toward a global agreement for the Copenhagen conference.
When urged to move forward with a U.S.-Japan-China trilateral
policy planning meeting, Wang highlighted Seoul's concerns
over the idea and suggested the three sides remain in contact
on the idea. Wang cautioned that the Chinese citizenry was
playing an increasing role in influencing policy-making and
called on the U.S. to handle sensitive issues like trade and
the Dalai Lama "prudently." Wang said the two sides should
move forward as soon as possible with the Human Rights
Dialogue. Wang said that U.S. actions in China's EEZ could
trigger "unexpected clashes"; the Deputy Secretary stressed
the importance of finding ways to deal with differing
interpretations of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS) in order to minimize the potential for damage to the
bilateral relationship. Wang linked PRC cooperation on
shipping non-lethal supplies across Chinese territory in
support of security efforts in Afghanistan to the U.S.
release of Uighurs from Guantanamo to third-countries.
Burma, Af/Pak, and upcoming Chinese official visits to the
United States were also discussed. END SUMMARY.

PRC Wants to Maintain Momentum Ahead of Obama Visit
-------------- --------------


4. (C) PRC Executive Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya
opened his September 29 meeting with the Deputy Secretary by

BEIJING 00002923 002 OF 004


stressing the importance of "maintaining the positive
momentum" of bilateral relations as the two sides worked
toward President Obama's planned November visit to China.
Wang said that in addition to the agenda for the President's
official meetings, the two sides should ensure that the visit
sent a positive signal about shared readiness to increase
strategic cooperation and benefit people in both countries.
The Deputy Secretary responded that it was important that the
visit not only demonstrate concrete outcomes but also
highlight the unique nature of the bilateral relationship and
the benefits it provided for people in both countries and the
world. He stressed the importance of a public appearance by
the President. Both sides should show leadership on climate
change given the timing of the visit a month before the
Copenhagen conference.

Climate Change Talks on PRC Agenda for Obama Visit
-------------- --------------


5. (C) Wang agreed with the importance of including climate
change and energy on the President's visit agenda, given the
major roles both countries played on the issue. He claimed
that the world's assessment of President Hu's statement of
China's position on the issue at the UN summit on climate
change was positive, and China would continue to work toward
a global agreement. He noted that in addition to the
multilateral setting, the U.S. and China should strengthen
bilateral cooperation on climate change issues. Wang
expressed hope that in addition to calls on President Hu and
Premier Wen, POTUS would meet with National People's Congress
Chairman Wu Bangguo during his November visit to Beijing,
stressing the importance of the NPC in the PRC political
system.

China Not Ready to Move Forward on Trilateral with Japan
-------------- --------------


6. (C) Turning to the proposal for a U.S.-Japan-China
trilateral policy planners meeting, the Deputy Secretary
noted that the arrival of a new government in Tokyo could
provide an opportunity for moving forward with such talks.
He noted that the U.S. had sought to reassure the ROK that
such a trilateral would not be aimed at excluding other
countries in the region and stressed the importance of
leaders of the world's three largest economies engaging in
dialogue. Wang replied that the trilateral concept had been
proposed some time ago and that a track-two mechanism with
academics from the three countries was active in discussing
major issues of trilateral concern. When the idea was first
proposed, China had received pressure not only from the North
Koreans but even more so from Seoul, Wang said. He noted
that the new government in Tokyo was "warm" to the idea, that
the three sides should remain in contact on the idea, and
consultations among the three could continue even without a
regular trilateral mechanism.

Public Opinion Constrains PRC Options on Sensitive Issues
-------------- --------------


7. (C) Turning to China's "core interests," Wang cautioned
that Chinese citizens were playing an increasing role in
influencing policy-making, including foreign policy. He
called on both sides to handle sensitive issues "prudently"
given this new reality. As an example, Wang pointed to last
year's "high-profile" meeting between French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama as the cause of protests
among Chinese citizens. He stressed that a similar incident
after the POTUS visit to China could undermine the gains of a
successful visit. Wang noted that while U.S.-China trade and
economic relations were mostly healthy, the U.S. decision to
invoke Section 421 measures against Chinese tire imports into
the U.S. had engendered a "strong reaction" from Chinese
citizens. He added that China was concerned that the
announcement of the countermeasures had undermined the
positive atmosphere of NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo's trip to the
U.S., which had been wrapping up just as the announcement was
made. He stressed that he did not believe the timing had
been deliberate, but noted that Chinese citizens were
demanding to know why such an action had been taken by the

BEIJING 00002923 003 OF 004


U.S. side. Deputy Secretary Steinberg said that the U.S.
believed strongly in public engagement on foreign policy to
build public confidence in foreign policy decisions. He also
underscored the importance of dialogue between the two sides
to ensure that misunderstandings could be avoided.

China Calls for Human Rights Dialogue
--------------


8. (C) Given the importance of intensifying cooperation to
push forward the strategic track of the Strategic and
Economic Dialogue, EVFM Wang said, the two sides should move
forward as soon as possible with the Human Rights Dialogue.

Wang Cautions U.S. on Actions in PRC EEZ
--------------


9. (C) EVFM Wang said that U.S. actions in China's exclusive
economic zone (EEZ) could trigger "unexpected clashes,"
adding that both sides were acutely aware of the damage done
to bilateral relations by the 2001 EP-3 incident. He
stressed that minor incidents could lead to serious damage to
public perception, and urged the U.S. to refrain from actions
in China's territorial waters and EEZ that violated UNCLOS or
Chinese law. Wang underscored the domestic political
pressure that PRC policy-makers were under from Chinese
citizens dissatisfied with U.S. actions in China's EEZ.


10. (C) Deputy Secretary Steinberg said that both sides had
strong interests at stake in their disagreement over the
interpretation of UNCLOS, and that the U.S. concern over
China's interpretation went beyond the bilateral
relationship. He stressed the importance of finding ways to
deal with the principled disagreement over UNCLOS, both its
underlying causes as well as day-to-day solutions to minimize
the potential for damage to the bilateral relationship,
adding that the Chinese interpretation would make much of the
world inaccessible to military vessels. Wang claimed that
"innocent passage" did not include military vessels
conducting military activities. Steinberg stressed that
UNCLOS was clear in allowing passage of military vessels.

Upcoming Official Visits to the U.S.
--------------


11. (C) Wang sought U.S. support for Chinese leadership
visits to the U.S. that would precede President Obama's
November travel to China. Noting that Central Military
Commission Vice Chairman Xu Caihou would visit the U.S. in
late October, Wang said that Xu's travel would play an
important role in increasing understanding between the two
countries' militaries, and requested that General Xu be
granted a meeting with President Obama. He noted that
Director of the CCP Organization Department Li Yuanchao would
travel to the U.S. with the aim of expanding cooperative
programs for professional training of government officials,
adding that he hoped Minister Li would have an opportunity to
meet with Secretary Clinton, National Security Adviser Jones
and Commerce Secretary Locke.

Af/Pak
--------------


12. (C) The Deputy Secretary underscored that shared
U.S.-China strategic interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan
should facilitate collaboration by the two sides on the issue
without raising the concerns of the leadership in Pakistan.
He urged China to respond positively for SRAP Holbrooke's
suggestion for a working-level delegation to visit the United
States in October, and stressed that the situation
represented a new opportunity for U.S.-China cooperation.


13. (C) In response, Wang stressed the importance of helping
the government in Afghanistan build capacity for governance
and for social and economic development. Pakistan had become
the frontline for the struggle against terrorism, and the
international community should support Pakistan's
counter-terrorism efforts, but should also bear in mind the
sensitivity among the Pakistani people with regard to its

BEIJING 00002923 004 OF 004


sovereignty and national dignity. Wang said that China hoped
for improvements in the relations between Pakistan and
Afghanistan and their counter-terrorism efforts, adding that
maintaining "reasonably good" relations between Pakistan and
India was also crucial for regional security. China was a
friend to all countries in the region, Wang claimed,
suggesting that the international community should be "more
attentive to the weaker party" in dealing with Pakistan-India
relations. Wang was pessimistic on the security situation in
South Asia and urged the U.S. to consider "root causes" of
extremism, such as lack of social and economic development,
adding that China engaged bilaterally with Afghanistan and
Pakistan to support development.


14. (C) The Deputy Secretary echoed Wang's call for economic
and social development in Af/Pak, noting legislation recently
passed by Congress providing new economic assistance for
Pakistan and U.S. efforts to ease the electricity crisis
there. On India-Pakistan relations, he stressed the
importance of demonstrating to both sides that relations with
the U.S. and China were not zero-sum in nature. He
emphasized India's legitimate concern over extremists
entering the country from Pakistan, and urged Pakistan to
deal with this problem.

Non-Lethal Trans-shipments Linked to Gitmo Uighurs
-------------- --------------


15. (C) Turning to the U.S. proposal for non-lethal
transshipments through China to support security efforts in
Afghanistan, Wang reported that the proposal faced
"difficulties," adding that China had noted the U.S. handling
of Uighur inmates in Guantanamo. He claimed the U.S. actions
had created an internal problem for China, and that more
"prudent" actions by the U.S. on the Guantanamo Uighurs would
help remove "some of the obstacles" on the Chinese side to
helping with the shipments.

Burma
--------------


16. (C) The Deputy Secretary noted the recently-concluded
U.S. policy review on Burma, and stressed that while our
objectives of political reform and encouraging openness
remained the same, we were ready to look at dialogue as an
effective way of dealing with the issue. He stressed that
the issue was another opportunity for increased U.S.-China
cooperation, and that both sides had a shared interest in
stability and increased openness from Burma. Wang responded
that China welcomed direct U.S. engagement with Burma. The
country had many complex problems, but it was ultimately up
to Burma to solve them; the international community could
only assist. Wang claimed that China had stressed to UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Burma's future was up to
its government and people. The international community had
differing views on the Burmese regime's seven-step roadmap,
but at least the roadmap demonstrated Burma's desire to
improve its internal situation and hold general elections.
Wang expressed concern that focusing solely on sanctions
would negatively affect the situation in Burma. He said that
China had detected improvements in the situation in Burma
over the last year. He stressed that ASEAN should play a
greater role in pushing Burma in a positive direction, and
that the involvement of major powers from outside the region
raised suspicions among the junta that the intention was
regime change.


17. (U) The Deputy Secretary cleared this message.

HUNTSMAN
HUNTSMAN