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10BEIJING138 2010-01-19 22:58:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

JANUARY 19, 2010 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: CHINA'S INTERNET,

Tags:   PREL PHUM PARM EINT TINT SENV CH AR AF IN JA 
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1. Key points at the January 19 MFA press briefing were:

-- China asserts that foreign firms, including Google, must respect
Chinese laws and customs China claimed to be the biggest victim of
hacking attacks.

-- A Japanese proposal to build facilities on Okinotori reef is
inconsistent with international law and therefore "isolated and
twisted, as well as groundless."

-- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will meet with
President Hu Jintao during a January 25-28 visit to China.

China's Internet


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





2. At the January 19 regularly scheduled Foreign Ministry press
briefing, Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu stated that "foreign firms,
including Google, must respect Chinese laws and customs." China had
an open Internet and encouraged the development and application of
the Internet, Ma continued. China welcomed Internet businesses from
all countries that operated in accordance to Chinese law.



3. In response to questions regarding Google's statement that it was
considering leaving China, Ma said he was not aware of any
discussions on this subject between Google and the Chinese
government. He noted that the United States government had not made
any formal representations to China regarding Google or Internet
freedom. If the U.S. were to raise such issues, Ma said, China
would stress the position that its Internet is open.



4. Ma claimed that China was the "biggest victim of hacking
attacks." He said that there had been a 148 percent increase in
hacking attempts against Chinese websites in 2008. Ma cited Baidu
as an example of a Chinese website that had been the victim of a
large-scale cyber attack. Ma also said that reports of an attack by
Chinese hackers on Indian government computers "are entirely without
basis."

China's Earthquake Disaster Relief in Haiti


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





5. Ma announced that the remains of eight Chinese peacekeepers who
had died during the Haiti earthquake had arrived in Beijing. Ma
stated that China provided immediate legal and consular assistance
to Chinese citizens in Haiti who had been affected by the
earthquake. Ma emphasized that China's disaster relief efforts were
under the scope of UN regulations.



6. Ma stated that China's relief efforts received "great praise from
relevant authorities." This illustrated that China had "fully
fulfilled" its responsibilities. Besides finding the bodies of the
Chinese peacekeepers, Chinese rescue workers had helped find the
bodies of UN officials and others, said Ma. He also noted that
Chinese doctors set up a medical station and had helped over 200
Haitian earthquake victims.



7. When asked if Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's upcoming visit to
Haiti would affect China's disaster relief contributions, Ma
referred the question to the Taiwan Affairs Office. Regarding
prospects for cross-Strait cooperation on relief efforts, Ma said
that there had been no cross-Strait coordination on the Haiti
earthquake response but that China hoped to enhance contact and
cooperation and to "uphold the humanitarian spirit."

Argentina's President Visit to China


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





8. Ma announced that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de
Kirchner would visit China January 25-28. President Fernandez de
Kirchner and President Hu Jintao would discuss the bilateral
strategic partnership and sign cooperative documents that would
further enhance the bilateral relationship, Ma said.



9. When asked about whether the indictments, by an Argentine judge,
of Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan for their role in crimes against humanity
committed against Falun Gong practitioners would affect the visit,
Ma responded that Falun Gong was a cult that tried to bring false
charges against Chinese officials. He asserted that attempts by
Falun Gong practitioners to damage China's relations with other
countries would notQcceed.

Okinotori Reef Territorial Dispute


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





10. Ma said Article 121 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
provided that Japanese proposals to build facilities on Okinotori
reef would not change the reef's legal status. Since Okinotori

BEIJING 00000138 002 OF 002


could not sustain human habitation, it could neither be an exclusive
economic zone nor a continental shelf. Ma stated that the Japanese
proposal did not conform to international laws, was against the
overall interests of the international community and was therefore
"isolated and twisted, as well as groundless."

Iranian Nuclear Program


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





11. China's approach to Iran's nuclear program was consistent and
emphasized dialogue and cooperation, Ma said. China continued to
support the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Ma said China had not
made any decision regarding further actions to be taken by the P5+1.

Kidnapped Chinese Engineers in Afghanistan


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





12. Ma stated that China was making every effort to rescue two
Chinese engineers who had been kidnapped in Afghanistan January 16.
The two Chinese nationals were kidnapped by unknown armed
individuals. Ma said that the relevant departments were
investigating the situation.

HUNTSMAN