C O N F I D E N T I A L SHANGHAI 000306
DEPT FOR EAP/CM, INR/B AND INR/EAP
STATE PASS USTR FOR STRATFORD, WINTER, MCCARTIN, ALTBACH, READE
NSC FOR WILDER AND TONG
E.O. 12958: DECL: XI MANUAL REVIEW
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, EINV, ECON, CH
SUBJECT: EAST CHINA VIEWS ON FOREIGN MINISTER APPOINTMENT
REF: BEIJING 2861
CLASSIFIED BY: Kenneth Jarrett, Consul General, , U.S.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
- (C) Summary. [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN], a well-known
U.S.-China specialist at [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN], claimed the sudden
removal of former Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing was due to
President Hu´s increasing dissatisfaction with the MFA.
[TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN]
linked this to Hu´s lingering anger about the handling of his
visit to the United States, three defections of MFA officials
this past year and a general deterioration of discipline within
the MFA. He believed that new Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
would follow the central leadership´s direction. End Summary.
- (C) During a May 21 lunch with Consul General,
[TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said
former Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing was hastily replaced because
President Hu Jintao had become dissatisfied with Li´s management
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Hu blamed Li for his
less than perfect visit to the United States in April 2006. In
addition to the presence of a Falun Gong protestor during his
remarks on the White House lawn, Hu was upset that the visit was
not treated as a State visit. There were no flags between the
White House and Blair house and no state dinner at the White
House. [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN]
added that he had heard that the Chinese Embassy in
Washington had reviewed the script for the emcee at the White
House ceremony and did not catch the "Republic of China"
- (C) According to [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN],
there were other signs that the MFA
was being badly mismanaged. In the last year, three diplomats
had defected and at least 60 MFA officials were subjected to
disciplinary investigations. MFA´s image had suffered greatly
under Li´s mismanagement and MFA had become less influential.
[TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN] said Li´s removal
was also highly unusual in that it did
not come in a tidy package, with for example, simultaneous
announcement of a new position for Li. During a May 14
discussion, [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN], said that former
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing had been surprised about his sudden
"retirement" since he had expected to be able to serve out his
term, stepping down at the spring 2008 People´s Congress.
[TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN]
had also heard that Hu Jintao disliked Li and was supporting
- (C) [TEXT REMOVED BY AFTENPOSTEN]
opined that there would be no major changes in
China´s policy towards the United States. While Li´s
replacement Yang Jiechi was the former Ambassador to the United
States and considered to be very knowledgeable about the United
States, and well-connected there, Yang was expected to very much
follow the central leadership´s direction.