China last year expressed concern last year about the
"momentum" toward an agreement on an enlarged U.N. Security Council, warning a
senior American diplomat that additional permanent seats on the 15-nation body
would dilute their power, according to a secret U.S. diplomatic cable
released by WikiLeaks.
An unnamed Chinese official urges the U.S. Charge d'Affaires,
Dan Piccuta, not to be "proactive" in promoting the expansion of the
Security Council, saying the development was "not good" for the council's five
permanent members, the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia.
"The P-5 'club' should not be 'diluted,'" the Chinese
official is quoting telling his American counterpart. "If we end up with
a 'P-10,'" both China and the United States "'would be in trouble.'"
The April, 2009 meeting in Beijing came as a group of four
influential powers -- Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, the so-called Group of
Four -- were pressing aggressively for a vote in the U.N. General Assembly on a
revision of the U.N. Charter that would allow for the expansion of the Security
Council. The initiative unraveled in the face of intense opposition from the
Group of 4's regional competitors and a demand by African countries that they
be given at least two permanent seats with veto power.
The Chinese official told the United States that it would be
difficult for the Chinese public to accept its own regional rival, Japan, as a
permanent member of the Security Council. Piccuta replied that the United States
still had no position on which countries should gain admittance into the
council, but said, "It was hard to envision any expansion of the council that
did not include Japan, which was the second largest contributor to the U.N.
budget." The Obama administration has since thrown its support behind India's
bid for a Security Council seat, but has shown little inclination to press for
the council's enlargement for the time being.
Piccuta also cautioned China that the U.N.'s five big powers
should allow other member states to "state their positions" on an expanded
council "freely and openly without undue P-5 influence."
The discussion on the Security Council was part of a broader
policy discussion that touched on trade and military disputes between the two
powers, particularly U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the treatment of detained
pro-democracy activist Liu Xiabobo, who has gone on to win the Nobel
Peace Prize, the fate of two jailed U.S. hikers in North Korea, and an upcoming
visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"The charge urged XXXXXX to arrange a useful schedule for
speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, including a trip to Tibet or Tibetan areas,
noting that the Speaker was also particularly interested in climate change and
environmental issue. China would treat Speaker Pelosi's visit as a type of ‘state
visit,' XXXXX replied. Nevertheless, given her ‘tight schedule,' the Speaker would likely ‘not have time'
to visit Tibet."