WikiLeaks cable: NZ on OIE and China/Taiwan

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

This is one of the cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

May 24, 2007

Classified By: Political-Economic Counselor Katherine B. Hadda, for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (c)

1. (C) This message contains an action request, at para 5.

2. (C) Summary: Until today (May 24), the GNZ had intended
to abstain on the OIE resolution that would require Taiwan to
participate under the name Taiwan, China. The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) have now heard from the NZ
Embassy in Washington that a new, compromise text has been
put forward by the United States and EU which is acceptable
to both China and Taiwan. MFAT has asked the OIE Chair to
clarify who has negotiated the text, and which Chinese and
Taiwan officials have OK'd it. If all sides are really in
agreement, MFAT will ask the Chair to ensure the new
resolution is put forward. Post would also be happy to
provide MFAT with any background information Washington could
provide us.

End Summary.

3. (C) On May 17, PE Couns shared reftel demarche on the
PRC/Taiwan resolution with David Taylor, Director of MFAT's
North Asia Division. On May 24, Taylor's Deputy Jane Mulryan
told PE Couns that MFAT had just received an urgent message
from Washington with a new resolution text, reportedly put
forward by the US and EU and acceptable to both China and
Taiwan. Mulryan said that MFAT has been unable to determine
who actually negotiated the text, and whether the Chinese and
Taiwan officials who endorsed it had the authority to do so.
MFAT has asked for clarification from both the NZ Embassy in
Washington and the OIE Chair (Barry O'Neal, a Kiwi). If the
Chair can confirm that all sides are happy with the new
resolution, MFAT will ask that he put the resolution forward.
(NB: Mulryan also reminded PE Couns that although O'Neal is
a New Zealander he is the Chair and does not represent (or
formally answer to) the GNZ. End NB.)

4. (C) Mulryan said that before this latest development,
MFAT had planned to ask Ministers to permit the NZ delegation
to abstain on the resolution. Now, Ministers have also been
asked to give the delegation flexibility to vote for a new
text if one is put forward that both China and Taiwan can
agree to without splitting apart the organization. Mulryan
also said that she expects that Chinese officials will raise
this issue with Foreign Minister Peters, who is currently on
official travel in Beijing. She anticipates that the PRC
will be surprised that New Zealand plans to abstain on the
original resolution if it is not replaced. PRC officials
have reportedly said they have enough OIE votes to pass the
original resolution, and have made it clear that they will
consider any abstentions as a "no" vote for China. Taiwan,
on the other hand, will consider any abstentions very
positively, Mulryan said. She also said that the Japanese
Embassy had also contacted her to urge that New Zealand vote
to remove the original PRC resolution from the ballot.

5. (C) Action request: Post would be happy to back-stop
MFAT's search for background information about the new
resolution if helpful to Washington. Please provide us with
any information you would like us to share from this end.

End action request.


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