E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2032




B. CHENGDU 00077

BEIJING 00002599 001.2 OF 003

Classified By: Political Internal Unit Chief Susan

Thornton. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Beijing-based human rights watchers reported
— Chinese officials referred to the Nangpa La Pass shooting incident on the Nepal border as “an accident” during the recent UK-China human rights dialogue.
— Germany will host the 23rd round of the China-EU human rights dialogue in mid-May in Berlin.
— China is willing to resume a human rights dialogue with Japan if the dialogue avoids “internal domestic issues” and Japan does not participate in meetings of China´s human rights dialogue partners.
— The status of the Sino-Swiss human rights dialogue is unclear, though some Swiss rule of law projects are proceeding outside the scope of the dialogue.
— The EU plans to host the next meeting of China´s human rights dialogue partners (the former Bern Process) late this summer in Brussels, but MFA officials continue to warn that participation in Bern Process-type meetings will adversely impact human rights dialogues.
— The Vatican will participate in the 3rd ASEM Interfaith Dialogue set for June 19-21 in Nanjing and a SARA official said German-Vatican cooperation on bishop appointments would be an acceptable model for China.
–Japan and China will soon negotiate an extradition treaty. End Summary.

Human Rights Dialogues: Great Britain, EU, Japan, Switzerland and Canada
——————————————— ———
2. (C) British Embassy xxxx said at a recent human rights watchers meeting that the 15th round of the UK-China human rights dialogue went forward on February 5-6 in London. MFA IO Human Rights Special Representative/DDG Shen Yongxiang led the Chinese delegation, which also included a large delegation of representatives from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme People´s Court and the State Council Information Office. MFA officials from both the IO and the European Affairs Departments attended, which xxxx said may presage a shift in responsibility for handling the human rights dialogue from IO to the European Affairs Department.

3. (C) British and Chinese officials discussed NGO registration procedures, the SPC´s reassumption of death penalty review powers and Internet freedom. The British agreed to provide information about NGO registration procedures in Great Britain. The SPC said procedures for death penalty cases are still evolving, and it may publish more about the procedures. Chinese officials, discussing Internet censorship, compared the Government´s role in regulating Internet content to that of an “industry watchdog.” Two All-China Lawyers Association defense attorneys, whose participation was funded by the British Embassy, led a “very technical” discussion of how Chinese criminal procedure law protects defendants´ rights. The Chinese side gave substantive responses to 35 of 45 cases on a prisoner list British Embassy officials passed to the MFA in early January, though Shen became defensive when asked about inaccuracies in the responses. Dr. Shen referred to the Nangpa Pass shooting incident as “an accidental incident.” (Note: In the most recent response to the Embassy on this incident, TAR authorities stated that the shooting was a matter of “illegal border crossers.” End note.) Chinese officials requested a reduction in the number of dialogue rounds from two per year to one per year, though no decision on this has been taken. xxxx said the dialogue was “tense at certain moments” but “cordial by the time it ended.”

4. (C) Germany will host the 23rd round of the China-EU human rights dialogue in mid-May in Berlin, according to Germany Embassy xxxx. The dialogue round will include a legal experts seminar on May 10-11 as well as dialogue sessions and a field trip on May 15-16. xxxx reported that the Chinese delegation, to be headed by IO Director General Wu Hailong, wants to discuss the EU´s participation in ongoing meetings of China´s human rights dialogue partners as an “off agenda” item.

5. (C) Japanese Embassy xxxx reported that China is willing to resume its human rights dialogue with Japan on condition that the dialogue will not include “internal domestic issues.” MFA IO xxxx clarified that, as a further prerequisite to discussions, Japan must agree not to participate in meetings of China´s human rights dialogue partners. Dong added that any country´s participation in the former Bern Process will have an adverse impact on that country´s bilateral relationship with China. “There will be different impacts,” xxxx said, “for different countries.”

6. (C) xxxx said Switzerland is still “unclear” about the status of its human rights dialogue with China following the Chinese Government´s demands in late 2006 that Switzerland forego a “leadership role” in the Bern Process. Swiss Embassy officials later told the MFA that Switzerland had complied with Chinese demands but Chinese officials then complained that Switzerland still operates the Bern Process´ secure website. The Sino-Swiss human rights dialogue remains on hold, but China has not made any clear statement indicating that Switzerland must make additional concessions. Some rule of law projects funded by the Swiss Government, which were previously suspended by the Chinese, are now moving forward outside the scope of the Sino-Swiss human rights dialogue. Chinese MPS officials interested in prison management are still planning an exchange visit to Switzerland in early 2007.

7. (C) Canadian Embassy xxxx said her office has had little productive exchange on human rights with Chinese officials since the MFA´s North American Division assumed responsibility for administering the Sino-Canadian human rights dialogue. xxxx said she was surprised by a statement appearing in an EU-drafted readout of the March 26 meeting of China´s human rights dialogue partners that the Sino-Canadian human rights dialogue has been suspended. Though no further rounds of dialogue have been scheduled, xxxx said her Embassy is not aware of any formal decision to suspend. The Canadian Government, xxxx said, has scheduled parliamentary hearings to discuss Canada´s engagement with China on human rights. xxxx previously told xxxx that if Canada wants China to give a high priority to its bilateral dialogue, it will have to give up participation in the Bern Process.

Next Meeting of China´s Human Rights Dialogue Partners
——————————————— ———

8. (C) EU representative xxxx said that the EU will host the next “non-meeting” of China´s human rights dialogue partners late this summer in Brussels, where there is “less exposure.” If the EU cannot host the meeting, Germany will host. Norway, xxxx said, is under pressure not to host a meeting. Norway Embassy representative xxxx confirmed that in early February an official attached to China´s UN Mission in Geneva encouraged Norway to “stay away” from the Bern Process. Norway has since decided that it cannot host a meeting of China´s human rights dialogue partners in 2007.

Vatican Participation In ASEM Interfaith Dialogue
——————————————— —–

9. (C) Italian Embassy representative xxxx said that the 3rd ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Interfaith Dialogue will go forward June 19-21 in Nanjing. xxxx told poloff on April 16 that the Vatican confirmed its interest and availability in participating, following a suggestion from the Chinese that the Vatican join the dialogue. Italy and China are “co-chairing” the dialogue. Italian officials initially objected to inclusion of the word “harmony” in the title of the conference, given the “political meaning” of the term, but have since dropped this objection. Separately, xxxx reported that SARA Foreign Affairs Deputy Division Director Liu Jinguang recently referred approvingly to cooperation between Germany and the Vatican on selection of bishops. Liu said the German “model” would be “acceptable in China.”

Extradition Treaties: Japan and France

10. (C) Japan´s xxxx reported that Japan and China will “soon” negotiate an extradition treaty as part of the joint cooperation announced during Premier Wen Jiabao´s recent visit to Japan. French Embassy representative xxxx said that France´s extradition treaty with China includes a provision requiring review of extradition proceedings both by police officials and by judicial authorities. The Chinese agreed to this provision only after protracted negotiations.


Leave a Reply