WikiLeaks cable: EAP/ANP Director McGann's visit to NZ: Pacific meeting

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

September 19, 2006
EAP/ANP Director McGann's visit to NZ: Pacific meeting

date:2006-09-19T01:27:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:06WELLINGTON733
destination:VZCZCXRO6699 RR RUEHPB DE RUEHWL #0733/01 2620127 ZNY
CCCCC ZZH R 190127Z SEP 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE
WASHDC 3278 INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0316 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY
CANBERRA 4537 RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0599 RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA
0512 RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0070 RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:06BEIJING8333|06SUVA350|06WELLINGTON536|06WELLINGTON655|06WELLINGTON733
?C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000733

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/FO, EAP/ANP
NSC FOR VICTOR CHA
SECDEF FOR OS...
?C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000733

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/FO, EAP/ANP
NSC FOR VICTOR CHA
SECDEF FOR OSD/ISA LIZ PHU
PACOM FOR JO1E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/16/2016
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NZ, XV, US, CH, TW
SUBJECT: EAP/ANP DIRECTOR MCGANN'S VISIT TO NEW ZEALAND:
PACIFIC MEETING

REF: A. WELLINGTON 655
B. BEIJING 8333
C. WELLINGTON 536
D. SUVA 350

(U) Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission David Keegan, for
reason 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: U.S. officials are interested in
participating in a U.S. special session proposed by the
Pacific Island Forum (PIF), EAP/ANP Director Steven McGann
told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) at a
September 12 meeting in Wellington. McGann and MFAT agreed
the USG and GNZ should work together to develop a PIF agenda
that focuses on donor coordination, security coordination and
transnational crime. MFAT remains concerned that
China-Taiwan competition threatens GNZ efforts to promote
good governance in the region, and worries as well about
potential instability in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon
Islands and Fiji. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Identifying poverty as the Pacific Island region's
most significant issue, MFAT Director for Pacific Affairs
Heather Riddell told McGann and EAP/ANP Econoff Alisa Wong
that the Pacific is second only to sub-Saharan Africa in
being least able to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
for good governance and economic development. She reiterated
New Zealand concern that competition between China and Taiwan
is undermining GNZ's efforts to promote good governance in
the region. McGann agreed, and said he had discussed this
issue with Chinese officials during his April trip to Beijing
(Ref B). Riddell said MFAT officials have also spoken with
the Chinese, including during Vice Foreign Minister He
Yafei's trip to Wellington earlier in the year (Ref C).
NZAID officials have also traveled to Taiwan to deliver "a
stern message" to Taiwan officials. McGann said that "China
and Taiwan need to participate in a framework approved by
regional partners and the PICs themselves."

3. (C) Niels Holm, MFAT Deputy Director for Pacific Regional
Affairs, said that although the PRC says the right things
regarding responsible development, it practices the opposite
when it comes, as it almost always does, to competing with
Taiwan. He added that although most Chinese migration and
transnational crime are beyond the Chinese government's
oversight, they have real potential to exacerbate poverty in
the PICs. GNZ's message to Pacific Island leaders is that
they need to ensure their countries are not the weak links in
regional law enforcement and security. McGann agreed, noting
that it was not ethnic Fijians that introduced
methamphetamine to Fiji, but organized crime based out of
Mainland China. Holm said GNZ is drafting a strategy paper on
countering PRC negative influence in the region, including
through approaches to senior leaders. They are also trying
to work with PRC think tanks, although NZ's Beijing embassy
says this has not been effective as the PRC central
government tends to control the think tanks' work. Riddell
reemphasized NZ's desire to work with us to deliver
consistant messages to China and Taiwan.

4. (C) McGann was pleasantly surprised to learn that GNZ was
the originator of PIF Secretary General Greg Urwin's proposal
to hold a special U.S session on the final day of PIF Leaders
meeting in Nadi, Fiji on October 25 (ref D). Riddell and
McGann agreed this could be a more constructive meeting than
the Post Forum Dialogue (PFD) and NZ and US officials should
work together to quickly develop an agenda. McGann
suggested one goal should be to get China to take more
responsibility for Chinese-originated crime in the PICs.
Riddell suggested that regional research and development into
identifying feasible fossil fuel alternatives might be
another area for discussion. Speaking of the PFD, Holm said
that for years partners had not gotten enough from the
session, and it will be important to find a way to give more
attention to dialogue with major players such as the United
States in order to ensure that senior respresentatives from
dialogue partners continue to attend the PIF. Leaders will
hopefully decide at this year's PIF on a more substantive

WELLINGTON 00000733 002 OF 002


process to engage third country partners.

5. (C) Riddell and McGann next reviewed the situation in
Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji. On PNG, Riddell
suggested that the Expanded Cooperation Program (ECP) is
helping to push back the state of emergency in the Southern
Highlands but can do no more than preserve the long-standing
dysfunctional society. Riddell said the commission of
inquiry into the cause of the Solomon Island riots was having
some "push back" effect on the Regional Assistance Mission to
the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). She agreed to provide the DCM
with a more detailed GNZ assessment of Taiwan's role in the
inquiry before his September 19 lunch with Taiwan's trade rep
in Wellington. Riddell said New Zealand believes the new
government in Fiji has contributed to a more stable
environment, but cited disagreement on foreshore ownership as
a potential cause of political instability.
McCormick

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