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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Joseph Wu's Appointment As New Tecro Chief

VZCZCXYZ0025
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0630 0790829
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 200829Z MAR 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4526
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6493
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 7738

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000630

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - LLOYD NEIGHBORS
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: JOSEPH WU'S APPOINTMENT AS NEW TECRO CHIEF


Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave significant
coverage March 20 to a local murder case in which the police
admitted Monday that they had arrested the wrong man. News coverage
also focused on the year-end legislative elections and the 2008
presidential elections. An op-ed piece in the pro-unification
"United Daily News" commented on the appointment of incumbent
Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu as the new TECRO chief.
The article said Wu will soon realize that having to deal with the
State Department every day around the clock is completely different
from his previous tasks of making emergency visits to the United
States to make clarifications of President Chen Shui-bian's surprise
remarks or moves. End summary.

"Joseph Wu, Being Taiwan's Representative in the U.S. is Not Like
Putting Out Fires"

Loh I-cheng, a retired diplomat, opined in the pro-unification
"United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000] (3/20):

"... The Green camp viewed Washington's approval of Joseph Wu's new
appointment as hard evidence showing that the U.S. government
supports the DPP to draw a clear line between itself and mainland
China. But such a view deserves further deliberation. One cannot
deviate from reality when handling foreign relations. Chen
Shui-bian is the only one who has supreme power in Taiwan. Judging
from the United States' national interests, even though it has
enjoyed a smooth channel for dealing with Taiwan over the past seven
years via [former TECRO chief] Chen Chien-jen and David Lee, the
situation was something akin to scratching an itchy foot with one's
boot on - namely, still failing to get to the root of the matter.
Since the DPP regards Wu as 'one of the insiders,' surely there is
no reason for Washington to say No to Taiwan. But neither the White
House nor the State Department can possibly change their policy
toward A-Bian's calculated attempt to write a new constitution and
use the approach of 'slicing the salami' to push the envelope of
complete independence, which will certainly affect U.S. global
relations. ... Representative Wu will assume his new duties early
next month. He will soon realize that having to deal with the State
Department every day around the clock is completely different from
his several previous assignments in which he was told to fly to the
United States, clarify A-Bian's surprise moves and put out fires in
Washington."

YOUNG

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