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Viewing cable 09BEIJING3416, PRC DEMARCHE ON AMBASSADOR'S LIU XIAOBO LETTER,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BEIJING3416 2009-12-21 11:11 2010-12-09 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beijing
VZCZCXRO1724
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3416/01 3551137
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211137Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7323
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003416 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/2034 
TAGS: PHUM PREL CH
SUBJECT: PRC DEMARCHE ON AMBASSADOR'S LIU XIAOBO LETTER, 
RIGHTS LAWYERS 

REF: BEIJING 3321 

Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor Eric Barboriak. 
Reasons: 1.4 (b), (d). 

1. (C) On December 21, MFA Americas Department Deputy 
Director General Ding Xiaowen summoned Acting PolMinCouns to 
receive a formal response to a December 10 letter from 
Ambassador Huntsman to Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi raising 
USG concerns about the detention of Charter 08 drafter Liu 
Xiaobo and other human rights issues. 

2. (C) Noting that he would attempt to refrain from "becoming 
emotional," Deputy Director General Ding Xiaowen told Acting 
PolMinCouns that China was strongly dissatisfied and 
registered its firm opposition to Ambassador Huntsman's 
letter and to his December 9 meeting with human rights 
lawyers (reftel). DDG Ding asserted that, during his meeting 
with Jiang Tianyong and four other rights lawyers, Ambassador 
Huntsman had said he would make representations to China to 
safeguard the freedom of religion and legal rights of Chinese 
citizens. In addition, the Ambassador had made inappropriate 
comments in his letter to FM Yang on the handling of specific 
human rights cases including those of Liu Xiaobo and Huang 
Qi. China was firmly opposed to these actions, DDG Ding 
said. 

3. (C) DDG Ding said that in recent years China had made 
"huge progress on human rights" and that all its citizens 
were equal before the law. In that context, if persons 
violated the law they should be brought to justice, no matter 
who they were or what the situation. Certain "so-called" 
human rights lawyers and dissidents had sought to advance 
their "selfish interests" by attacking the Chinese 
government. It was inappropriate and unacceptable for the 
Ambassador to meet with these types of people, Ding said. 

4. (C) China was a country "ruled by law" and the cases in 
question would be handled according to law, DDG Ding 
continued. The United States had no right to "point fingers" 
at China and interfere in its internal affairs. The 
bilateral human rights dialogue would take place in February 
and would serve to deepen mutual understanding and reduce 
differences between the United States and China on the basis 
of equality, mutual trust and noninterference in internal 
affairs, DDG said. In order to avoid harm to bilateral 
relations, China called on the United States to respect 
China's judicial sovereignty and to cease using human rights 
as an excuse to "meddle" in China's internal affairs. 

5. (C) Acting PolMinCouns noted that the Ambassador's letter 
reflected the degree of USG concern over the cases of Liu 
Xiaobo, Huang Qi and others. He further noted that, as the 
Secretary had made clear in her December 14 speech, human 
rights remained a key component of U.S. foreign policy. 
Human rights had also been addressed in the joint statement 
by President Obama and President Hu with both sides 
acknowledging internationally recognized rights. The cases 
of Liu Xiaobo and Huang Qi were clear violations of those 
internationally recognized norms. While the U.S. was willing 
to address these issues quietly through diplomatic channels, 
little progress had been achieved and China had not 
acknowledged U.S. concerns. A/PolMinCouns affirmed that the 
Ambassador would continue to meet freely with a range of 
Chinese citizens. 

6. (C) In a lengthy and disjointed digression, DDG Ding noted 
that he had formerly been Ambassador to Botswana and 
recounted his conversations with the Botswana Foreign 
Minister who told him that the most fundamental human rights 
were the right to food and shelter. While it was true that 
there are fundamental rights of religion, speech and 
assembly, Ding said, "we must not forget the right of human 
dignity and the pursuit of happiness." In this area it was 
"a basic fact" that the PRC had made huge progress in the 
basic welfare of the Chinese people. DDG Ding suggested that 
the United States had not come to China's aid in this respect 
when it had declined to provide spare parts for Blackhawk 
helicopters to assist with relief efforts in the aftermath of 
the Sichuan earthquake. Repeating that human rights cases 
could be "emotional," DDG Ding said the U.S. should seek to 
understand China's position through dialogue. 

7. (C) A/PolMinCouns replied that the United States agreed 
that dialogue was important and would continue to address 
human rights issue through bilateral consultations. However, 
U.S. concerns over abuses of internally recognized human 
rights norms remained. A/PolMinCouns also pointed out that 
during relief efforts after the Sichuan earthquake, the 
United States, in addition to the other relief assistance it 

BEIJING 00003416 002 OF 002 


had provided, had offered to arrange airlift support for 
China, an offer which China had rejected. 
GOLDBERG