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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

VZCZCXYZ0011
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0654 0810804
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220804Z MAR 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4568
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6507
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 7749

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000654

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: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS


Summary: News coverage of Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies
March 22 focused on the year-end legislators' elections, on the 2008
presidential election, and on local political and social issues. In
terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the
limited-circulation, conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post" discussed AIT Director Stephen Young's address during
an American Chamber of Commerce's annual post-Chinese New Year
gathering Tuesday. The article echoed Director Young's remarks on
expanding cross-Strait relations and urged the Taiwan leaders to
have "a grand vision in mapping out plans for the island's future."
An op-ed piece in the limited-circulation, pro-independence,
English-language "Taipei Times," on the other hand, discussed the
development of U.S.-Taiwan relations following the upcoming Congress
and presidential elections in both Taiwan and the United States.
The article said "An ongoing dialogue system could help smooth out
political differences while each side is making its policies." End
summary.

A) "Time to Expand Cross-Strait Ties"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] (3/22):

"American Institute in Taipei [sic] (AIT) Director Stephen M. Young
on Tuesday urged Taiwan to further open its economic ties with
China, suggesting that 'for this place to prosper, people, goods and
capital should be able to move more freely across the Strait.' We
wonder whether or not our government leaders have the wisdom to
listen to Young's comments. ... How true those words are. As we
have time and again pointed out in our editorials, the tendency of
the government to limit the development of relations with the
Chinese mainland has been hampering the island's development and has
resulted in stagnation and isolation. The Republic of China's
leaders must have a grand vision in mapping out plans for the
island's future. A narrow, provincial outlook can never taken [sic]
Taiwan out of its current predicament."

B) "Dialogue Will Be Key during the Elections"

Nat Bellocchi, former chairman of AIT and now a special adviser to
the Liberty Times Group, opined in the pro-independence,
English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation: 30,000] (3/22):

"... The elections of Congress and a new president in the US will
come only a few months after those in Taiwan. Any change in the
relationship between Washington and Taipei will be determined in the
early days of the new Taiwanese government and in the midst of US
elections -- not necessarily the best time for diplomatic change.
Early next year, Taiwan will have a new government. The US,
however, will be dispatching personnel and developing its policies
only in early 2009. An ongoing dialogue system could help smooth
out political differences while each side is making its policies."

YOUNG

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