BEIJING HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHERS DISCUSS EU HR DIALOGUE; RAISE TIBET SHOOTING INCIDENT

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 022825

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DRL, EAP/CM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/27/2031

TAGS: PHUM, KIRF, PGOV, CH

SUBJECT: BEIJING HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHERS DISCUSS EU HR

DIALOGUE; RAISE TIBET SHOOTING INCIDENT

REF: BEIJING 21795

Classified By: Classified by Political Internal Unit Chief Susan

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

1. (C) Summary: The 22nd round of the China-EU human rights dialogue took place October 19 in Beijing, with special emphasis on freedom of expression, criminal justice reform and combating racism. Chinese officials denied that censorship exists, challenged the basis for some of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nowak´s conclusions, said China probably will not
ratify the ICCPR without making an exception to allow Reeducation-Through-Labor, and ascribed the September 30 shooting of Tibetans to “normal border guard behavior.” The Canadian, Swedish, Australian, Swiss, German, Norwegian and New Zealand Embassies have raised, or plan to raise, the Tibet incident with Chinese officials. Politburo member Jia Qinglin told Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams that religion can play an important role in China´s efforts to build a “harmonious society.” Jia also stated that the China-UK human rights dialogue will not be cut back to one round per year. End Summary.

EU Human Rights Dialogue
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2. (C) The 22nd round of the China-EU human rights dialogue on October 19 was largely “business as usual,” reported Finnish Embassy [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN]. Ambassador Tom Gronberg of Finland, which currently holds the rotating EU Presidency, led the EU delegation in meetings covering a range of issues including freedom of expression, criminal justice reform and combating racism.

3. (C) On freedom of expression, Ambassador Gronberg noted that that the Chinese block some Internet search terms. MFA International Organizations Director General Wu Hailong launched into a lengthy background statement on the explosion in Chinese Internet use since 1990. Wu denied that there is “any censorship whatsoever” of news items in China. Censorship is “practically impossible,” Wu said, given the large number of search queries. A moment later, Wu explained that the Chinese government has banned “Taiwan” as a search term because Internet users otherwise might use it to advance “illegal separatist activities.” [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN], also acknowledged Chinese Internet censorship, but only in private conversation on the margins of the dialogue.

4. (C) The atmosphere was equally tense during discussions of criminal justice reform, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said. DG Wu read through a long list of reforms and planned
reforms, all of which were previously known. When Ambassador Gronberg asked about reported abuses in specific cases involving Chen Guangcheng, Gao Zhisheng, and Hu Jia, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said DG Wu and DDG Shen “acted as if mentioning these names was hitting under the belt.” DG Wu said individuals were being punished for violating the law, not for expressing their opinions. He further said that there is unprecedented freedom of speech in China.

5. (C) Wu said police are receiving new training in compliance with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak´s recommendations. On the other hand, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said DDG Shen challenged the factual basis for some of Nowak´s recommendations. Shen said errors in translation caused Nowak to mistakenly conclude that prisoners are subject to torture, when in fact this is not the case. Shen said Nowak had been “misled” by prisoners and other people he interviewed.

6. (C) A public security official present at the meetings said Nowak mistakenly used the term “arbitrary detention” in describing Chinese practice. She said Nowak should have acknowledged that detentions in China are “according to law,” though she did not address the question of whether Chinese law is arbitrary. The public security official also said
“Reeducation-Through-Labor” is necessary in China, and is “very likely to stay.” DG Wu said an inter-department group continues to work on ICCPR ratification, with some departments holding the view that the ICCPR cannot be ratified because it “totally contravenes Chinese law.” The public security official, though not going so far as to say that the ICCPR cannot be ratified, said she is certain the ratified version will include an exception allowing various forms of administrative detention including RTL because they have a “long and important tradition” in China.

7. (C) Tension relaxed to a degree when the topic turned to combating racism, an item placed on the dialogue agenda by the Chinese. According to [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN],
DG Wu and DDG Shen raised numerous examples of reported racism in Europe. The EU side did not deny the cases or belittle the Chinese side´s comments about them which, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said, set a “good example” for the Chinese and also improved the atmosphere at the meeting. [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said the Chinese “seemed to realize the EU really tried to answer” their stated concerns about racism.

8. (C) Concerning claims of organ harvesting, DG Wu said that assertions of mass organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners are “outrageous” and that “many Americans are furious about these lies.” He said the Chinese Government is likely to take up organ donation as a topic for further legislative or regulatory action. (Note: British Emboff [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] separately told poloff that Maurice Slapak, a British transplant surgeon, is working with Chinese officials to revise China´s organ transplant regulations. The new
provisions, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said, will (a) require disclosure of agreements by prisoners to donate organs; (b) prohibit the use of organs originating in China in surgeries performed outside the country; (c) encourage organ donation by Chinese citizens; (d) set standards for determining whether a person is brain dead; and (e) specify procedures for deciding what doctors and hospitals can perform transplant surgeries. End note.)

9. (C) Ambassador Gronberg raised the September 30 shooting of Tibetans at the Nangpa Pass, asking the Chinese for clarification and to investigate the incident thoroughly. DG Wu agreed to investigate and report back to the EU on thi incident as information becomes available. However, he cavalierly ascribed the incident to “normal border guard behavior” and
told EU human rights interlocutors he thought their “border guards would have acted the same way.” EU human rights officials passed a list of 76 prisoner cases to the Chinese several days before the dialogue. The EU received substantive responses in 11 cases and the Chinese have promised additional responses in other cases.

10. (C) EU Delegation Representative [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said that Chinese participants in the October 19 dialogue generally seemed more confident than in previous China-EU dialogue rounds, and even arrogant at times. As evidence of this, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said DG Wu simply did not pay attention to EU interlocutors during some of the discussions. DDG Shen, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said, even laughed at some comments made by EU participants. Shen complained about the Bern Process, saying that it “offends China´s dignity.” He told the EU that it should withdraw from the Bern Process and that pressure on the Chinese through this channel will be “counterproductive.”

Action Following Tibet Border Incident
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11. (C) Several Embassies reported that they have raised concerns about the September 30 shooting incident near Nangpa Pass. Canadian Embassy [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN]
said the Canadian Government raised the Tibet incident with the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, but has been stymied by MFA refusals to meet with Canadian Embassy officials in Beijing. Swedish Emboff [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] reported that the Swedish government raised the Tibet incident with FM Li Zhaoxing on October 12. On October 16, a Swedish
delegation in Tibet raised the issue with local officials, who claimed not to have heard of the incident. Australian Emboff [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said the Australian Embassy delivered a demarche on the Tibet incident last week to the MFA.

12. (C) Other Embassies reported plans to raise the Tibet incident with Chinese officials. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey will discuss the incident in October 27 meetings with FM Li. A German delegation will raise the incident with MFA International Organizations officials during the next round of the China-German human rights dialogue on October 30 and 31. Norway and New Zealand, whose representatives were not present at the October 26 human rights watchers meeting, reportedly have either raised the Tibet incident with Chinese officials or plan to do so soon.

Jia Qinglin Discusses Religion With Archbishop
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13. (C) British Emboff [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] reported on Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams´ recent visit to China, which is the third visit by a head of the
Anglican Church to China. In an October 19 meeting, CPPCC Chairman and Politburo member Jia Qinglin told Williams that the formal “Decision” of the Central Committee´s recent Sixth Plenum contains the first ever high-level Party pronouncement commenting positively on the role of religion in China. The “Decision” on China’s future economic and social development passed this month states: “we should strengthen the unity among the religious masses, those without religious belief, and those believing in different religions and bring the positive role of religion into play in promoting social harmony.” Jia told Williams that religion can play an important role in China´s efforts to build a “harmonious society,”
though he also affirmed that this role must be “according to law.” In a separate meeting with Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Quan, Kong told Williams that the Dalai Lama´s “hidden agenda” is Tibetan independence.

China Says It Will Not Cut Back On China-UK Dialogue
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14. (C) Post earlier reported (reftel) that Chinese officials told the British Embassy it will cut back the frequency of its formal human rights dialogue with the United Kingdom to one round per year. British Emboff [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said CPPCC Chair Jia told British Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer on October 25 that the number of rounds will remain at two per year. [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] believes Jia´s statement reflects recognition among senior Chinese officials of the “political value” of dialogue, which trumps lower-level MFA officials´ “working level” preference for fewer rounds.

Randt

http://www.aftenposten.no/spesial/wikileaksdokumenter/article3984757.ece

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