大家應該還記得地震之後，中共面臨的一個大難題，是不夠直升機去空投物資或運送軍民與機械。中共全軍的直升機數目，其實只得數百架，可用作救災用的就更少，不過中共也早於 1984 年從美國購入 24 架性能優秀的黑鷹直升機。根據電文，中共原來曾於地震後要求美國提供直升機零件，但美方遭拒絕，而美方建議提供空運支援，也不獲中共應允。一方想乘機補給軍備，另一方則想趁機於潛在敵境內作飛行演習，政治是十分現實的。
¶6. (C) In a lengthy and disjointed digression, DDG Ding noted that he had formerly been Ambassador to Botswana and recounted his conversations with the Botswana Foreign Minister who told him that the most fundamental human rights were the right to food and shelter. While it was true that there are fundamental rights of religion, speech and assembly, Ding said, "we must not forget the right of human dignity and the pursuit of happiness." In this area it was "a basic fact" that the PRC had made huge progress in the basic welfare of the Chinese people. DDG Ding suggested that the United States had not come to China's aid in this respect when it had declined to provide spare parts for Blackhawk helicopters to assist with relief efforts in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake. Repeating that human rights cases could be "emotional," DDG Ding said the U.S. should seek to understand China's position through dialogue.
¶7. (C) A/PolMinCouns replied that the United States agreed that dialogue was important and would continue to address human rights issue through bilateral consultations. However, U.S. concerns over abuses of internally recognized human rights norms remained. A/PolMinCouns also pointed out that during relief efforts after the Sichuan earthquake, the United States, in addition to the other relief assistance it had provided, had offered to arrange airlift support for China, an offer which China had rejected.