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Viewing cable 07SANJOSE1322, COSTA RICA: NEW CHINESE AMBASSADOR COMES CALLING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07SANJOSE1322 2007-07-11 17:05 2011-03-04 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-04/Investigacion/NotasDestacadas/Investigacion2697549.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-04/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697564.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-04/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2697557.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-04/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697581.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-04/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697579.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-04/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702553.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-04/Investigacion/Relacionados/Investigacion2702554.aspx
VZCZCXYZ1057
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #1322/01 1921709
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111709Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8473
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0133
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 0452
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0443
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0075
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0751
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 001322 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR WHA/CEN, EAP/CM AND IO/UNP, SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR XK CS
SUBJECT: COSTA RICA:  NEW CHINESE AMBASSADOR COMES CALLING 
 
REF: A. SAN JOSE 1106 (ALL NOTAL) 
     B. SAN JOSE 1173 
     C. SAN JOSE 1254 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  New Chinese Ambassador-designate Wang 
Xiaoyuan has wasted little time in making the rounds in San 
Jose.  Arriving in Costa Rica on June 13, he presented a copy 
of his credentials to FM Stagno on June 18 (although he has 
not yet presented his credentials to President Arias).  In a 
courtesy call on the Ambassador on June 27, Wang downplayed 
the (fading) controversy stirred by the GOCR,s recognition 
of China.  He said that trade would be high on the bilateral 
agenda, but not right away.  Once his embassy was up and 
running, Wang expected consular services (for what he 
estimated were 50,000 Chinese in Costa Rica) would take up a 
good portion of his mission,s time.  On global issues, Wang 
confirmed that the PRC favored Costa Rica,s election to a 
non-permanent seat on the UNSC and 
eventual APEC membership, but neither issue was solely up to 
China.  While Wang is diplomatically cautious concerning 
prospects for China-Costa Rica trade, GOCR officials are 
quite optimistic, pointing to trade and investment fairs in 
both countries this fall and President Arias,s planned visit 
to China in October.  Although familiar to some addressees, 
Wang,s bio is repeated in para 7 below for reference.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (SBU) Wang downplayed the public and political 
controversy stirred by the GOCR,s announcement that it would 
recognize China (Ref A).   He said the recognition initiative 
was not new; there had been on again-off again Chinese-Costa 
Rican dialogue for 15 years.  Citing a proverb, he quipped 
that the PRC and the GOCR had reached agreement "when the 
melon was ripe."  Wang nonetheless noted the importance to 
Beijing of recognition.  Costa Rica was now the first Central 
American country to have diplomatic relations with China. 
The nearest others in the hemisphere, he added, were Mexico 
and Colombia. 
 
3.  (SBU) Trade would be high on the bilateral agenda, 
according to Wang, but not right away.  He was immediately 
preoccupied with finding a suitable building to house his new 
embassy and consulate.  He anticipated that the (by his 
count) 50,000-member Chinese community in Costa Rica would 
place a high demand on consular services. (NOTE:  GOCR 
immigration authorities estimate the Chinese community at 
only 10,000, Ref B.) Wang said that most of the Chinese 
colony worked in restaurants and small businesses.  His 
embassy would at first be staffed by personnel rotating from 
Mexico City.  Eventually, Wang envisoned a staff of seven, 
not counting local hires.  According to local media reports 
on July 5, Wang had settled on a house in the Rohrmoser area 
of San Jose for the new chancery, not far from President 
Arias,s home.  As for his own residence, Wang was still 
looking, while temporary lodged in a local Ramada Inn. 
 
4.  (SBU) On global issues, Wang said the PRC "looked 
favorably" on Costa Rica,s election to the UNSC and eventual 
entry into APEC, but neither issue was solely up to China 
(Ref C).  In his first local interview, on June 24, Wang 
publicly confirmed China,s support for Costa Rica in both 
the UNSC and APEC, but expected this support to be 
reciprocated when Chinese candidates sought election in 
international organizations. 
 
5.  (U) Wang may be diplomatically cautious in private about 
prospects for China-Costa Rica trade, but GOCR officials are 
quite optimistic in public.  News stories on July 10, quoting 
Foreign Trade Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz and the head of the 
PROCOMER trade promotion organization, Martin Zuniga, 
described a busy year ahead.  Ruiz said there would be "an 
agenda of exchanges" including a visit by a PRC vice-minister 
in conjunction with a trade fair in August, Costa Rica 
participation in an investment fair in Shanghai in September, 
President Arias,s visit to China in October, and a 
China-Latin America "business summit" in conjunction with the 
Ibero-American summit in Santiago in November.  According to 
Ruiz and Zuniga, Costa Rican exporters hoped to target the 
so-called "new emperors" in China, the affluent, young 
globalized entrepreneurs and professionals who would be 
interested in value-added niche products such as processed 
food, bottled beverages, palm oil derivatives, ornamental 
plants and gourmet coffee. 
 
6.  (SBU) COMMENT:  As the Chinese-Costa Rican honeymoon 
begins, we wonder about expectation management.  The PRC 
obviously places greater political import on recognition by 
Costa Rica.  The Ticos (if their hype is believed) have very 
high economic hopes.  This relationship may face a little 
turbulence as it unfolds.  The self-effacing, 
Spanish-speaking, experienced Wang, however, seems an 
excellent choice to open relations, however.  Diplomatic 
colleagues from other embassies, impressed by his language 
skills and his full schedule of courtesy calls, were waving 
his calling card around as though Wang were a celebrity. 
END COMMENT. 
 
7. (U) WANG XIAOYUAN CURRICULM VITAE (as provided to us by 
Wang): 
 
Born: December 1954 in Henan Province.  University graduate 
(NFI). 
 
1975-78     Chinese Embassy, Mexico City 
 
1978-80     Translation department, MFA, Beijing 
1980-86     Third Secretary, Americas and Oceana 
Directorate, MFA, Beijing 
 
1986-88     Second Secretary, Chinese Embassy, Havana 
 
1989-93     Second Secretary, then First Secretary and 
sub-director, Latin America and Caribbean Directorate, MFA, 
Beijing 
 
1993-96     First Secretary, Chinese Embassy. Madrid 
 
1996-97     First Secretary and Director, Latin America 
and Caribbean Directorate, MFA, Beijing 
1997-98     Vice Magistrate, Xushui District, Hebei 
Province 
1998-2000   Counselor, Latin America and Caribbean 
Directorate, MFA, Beijing 
 
2000-2006   Consul General, Rio de Janiero 
 
2006-2007   Ambassador to Uruguay 
 
2007-       Ambassador to Costa Rica 
 
Wang is married, with one university-age daughter who is 
studying in Europe. 
 
HENIFIN