Special Briefing
Office of the Spokesperson
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So briefly, on background, Senior State, the Secretary had a very full meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang this morning. They began the meeting talking about the Chinese-Japanese tensions over the Senkakus. The Secretary, as she has been urging for a number of months, including when she was in China in the summer and when she was at APEC and had a chance to see Prime Minister Noda, again urged that cooler heads prevail, that Japan and China engage in dialogue to calm the waters, that we believe that Japan and China have the resources, have the restraint, have the ability to work on this directly and take tensions down. And that is our message to both sides.

They then talked about South China Sea issues. As you may know, this is an area where, after intense diplomatic focus by all the players, including, notably, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia who was in Washington not too long ago, we now have restarted informal meetings between senior officials of China and ASEAN. They had a meeting in Phnom Penh two weeks ago. We expect these meetings are going to continue in the lead-up to the East Asia Summit in November. This is precisely what the Secretary had been advocating, what we had been advocating – that they restart a dialogue. And so the Secretary commended China for that. I think she’ll make the same point when she sees the ASEAN foreign ministers later today.

They compared notes on the situation in the DPRK briefly. They also talked about Iran in preparation for the P-5+1 minus Iran meeting this afternoon, and about the two-track strategy of diplomacy and pressure. The Secretary, as she always does, raised human rights concerns – notably in this particular meeting, concerns about Tibet and increasing pace of immolations. They talked about bilateral economic relations and the global financial situation. The Secretary again urged that the – some of the cases of concerns, including FedEx, be dealt with on the Chinese side.

And of course, they talked about Syria. The Secretary debriefed the Foreign Minister on her meeting with Special Envoy Brahimi, and she made the same point to him, to Foreign Minister Yang, that she has made this week to Foreign Minister Lavrov and that she’s made when she was in Vladivostok to Russian leaders, that we still see value in the Geneva document that the Security Council members agreed on, and working from that, drawing on elements of it. But if we go in that direction in terms of the Security Council, there have to be real consequences for noncompliance with it, consequences for both sides. So that was the meeting with Foreign Minister Yang.


QUESTION: On Syria, do you have any sense for – first, when did she meet Lavrov here? And do you have any sense that there’s any Security Council movement possible in this week or in coming --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think where we are on Syria, as she said, I think, herself, is that – or maybe we said it here after one of our earlier sessions in debriefing the Brahimi meeting – is that we expect that Envoy Brahimi’s going to do another round of consultation and then he’s going to come back to the Security Council with his own ideas. So I don’t think that we will see any formal action unless and until he comes forward with something. But it was in the context of informing his thinking that she wanted him to know, she wants the Russians to know, she wants the Chinese to know that we still think there’s some value in that Geneva document, but only if it’s got real consequences for noncompliance.

QUESTION: She didn’t sense any movement on their part, neither the Chinese or Russians?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think everybody’s waiting to see what Brahimi comes forward with.

PRN: 2012/1540