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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan's Who Bid, China-Japan Relations

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0863/01 1070905
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170905Z APR 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4926
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6649
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 7897

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000863

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: TAIWAN'S WHO BID, CHINA-JAPAN RELATIONS


1. Summary: Several of Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave
front-page coverage April 17 to the mass shooting in a U.S. college
Monday, while the others continued to focus on the 2008 presidential
elections and other local political issues. In terms of editorials
and commentaries, an editorial in the pro-status quo "China Times"
criticized the Taiwan government's attempt to apply for membership
for the World Health Organization (WHO) under the name "Taiwan" as a
show simply for domestic campaign purposes. An op-ed piece in the
limited-circulation, pro-independence, English-language "Taipei
Times," however, argued that "this is the correct course for Taiwan
to pursue." With regard to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's
recent visit to Japan, an editorial in the limited-circulation,
conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post" said
both China and Japan "should work together to head off any attempts
by the ultra-nationalists to sour bilateral feelings." An editorial
in the limited-circulation, pro-independence, English-language
"Taiwan News" urged Beijing to join the international system as a
responsible stakeholder." End summary.

2. Taiwan's WHO Bid

A) "Does [Taiwan] Really Want to Join the WHO, or It Has Simply Put
On a Show Aimed at Manipulating Campaigning?"

The pro-status quo "China Times" [circulation: 400,000]
editorialized (4/17):

"... The problem is that we really cannot tell what powerful
bargaining chips or channels Taiwan has obtained recently that are
capable of increasing the island's chances to participate in this
year's World Health Assembly (WHA), let alone the more difficult
attempt to become a member of the World Health Organization (WHO).
... Frankly speaking, not only is this year's situation no different
from that of last year, but it has also become more unfavorable for
Taiwan's participation [in the WHA]. Other than the fact that the
United Nations only recognizes China's fundamental policy, Beijing
also signed a memorandum of understanding with the WHO in 2005,
which specifies that, should experts from Taiwan want to participate
in WHO conferences, they must apply using city names such as Taipei
or Kaohsiung. Also, Taiwan's name will become 'Taiwan, China,'
meaning that Taiwan is part of China. Such an adverse framework has
restricted any possible status that Taiwan could use to attend the
conferences, let alone the possibility of becoming a full member [of
the world body].

"Second, the United States has been a major driving force that
protects Taiwan's security and assists Taiwan in terms of the
latter's room for maneuver in the international community. But as
we recall what has happened [between the two sides], [we need to ask
the questions:] Have U.S.-Taiwan relations improved or deteriorated
in the wake of the campaigning manipulative moves such as the 'one
country on either side of the Taiwan Strait' remarks and the
controversy over the 'cessation of the National Unification
Council'? Has the United States become more enthusiastic or
dispirited in supporting Taiwan's participation in the international
activities? ...

"To put it bluntly, this is just another political move for domestic
consumption only. After a series of name change campaigns for
state-owned enterprises, now [the government] is saying out loud
that [we] want to join the WHO under the name 'Taiwan.' In
September, it will say even louder that [we] want to join the United
Nations under the name 'Taiwan,' which will be followed by a move
'to bundle a referendum with the election' during the year-end
elections, or even a referendum to see if the name of the nation
needs to be changed. Only one thing matters for all these beautiful
dreams woven with the name of 'Taiwan' to lure Green voters and to
antagonize ethnic confrontations: victory in the elections. It
really does not matter whether Taiwan can enter the WHO or UN. ..."


B) "Membership Bid for the WHO Is the Correct Way"

Chen Lung-chu, chairman of the New Century Foundation and director
of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, opined in the
pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] (4/17):

"... The WHO charter stipulates that membership is open to all
countries, not just those in the UN. For Chen to use his position
as head of state and representative of Taiwan's 23 million people to
apply for membership is an extremely important first step in the
nation's bid to join the WHO. Not only does it highlight that
Taiwan is a sovereign and independent nation, but it also makes it
clear that Taiwan wants to participate fully in the WHO, and that it
is willing and determined to contribute to improving the health of
all the world's people. In consideration of its fundamental and
long-term interests, this is the correct course for Taiwan to
pursue. ...


"All WHO members are countries, whereas that is not necessarily true
of observers. Fighting for an observer spot could easily mislead
the international community into thinking that Taiwan is not an
independent and sovereign state. ... In the past we sought to
become WHA observers, but we have now entered a new stage of
actively pursuing full WHO membership. As long as we choose the
right direction, and people work closely together with the
government with trust and resolve, our shared determination will see
us through to success."

3. China-Japan Relations

A) "No United Nation's Security Council Seat for Japan"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (4/17):

"Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao scored more points than his Japanese
host, Prime Minister Shintaro [sic] Abe, from his two-and-a-half-day
visit to Japan last week. The visitor showed his big heart, but his
host didn't get what he wanted. Wen's message: China won't allow
Japan to join the U.N. Security Council this year, or in later
years, if Japan does not renounce militarism. And the U.S. can do
little to change the Chinese mind. ...

"2007 marks the 70th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
and the Nanking Massacre. Both countries should work together to
head off any attempts by the ultra-nationalists to sour bilateral
feelings. ... A key sign of further warmth will be Abe's return
visit to Beijing later this year, followed by a possible visit to
Tokyo by China's President Hu Jintao."

B) "Taking a Long View on Sino-Japan Ties"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News" [circulation:
20,000] editorialized (4/17):

"... From Taiwan's standpoint, the most noteworthy aspect of Wen's
visit was the refusal of the Japanese government to budge on its
policy toward Taiwan and its retaining a stance of 'strategic
ambiguity' on Taiwan's status by acknowledging the PRC as the 'one
China' but not bowing to Beijing's pressure to specify that Taiwan
was part of the PRC. Moreover, Tokyo continued to align itself with
Washington's call for direct dialogue between the PRC and Taiwan
governments and peaceful resolution of cross-strait disputes. ...

"As long as the PRC does not begin to respect the values of
democracy, fundamental civic and social liberties and human rights
but continues to insist on seeing itself as the center of the world
and refuses to abandon its ambition to annex Taiwan, there will
remain the danger of regional conflict. However, if the PRC can
join the international system as a responsible stakeholder and
accept the prevailing values of the global system and respect the
free will of the 23 million people of Taiwan, and an Asia featuring
democracy, peace and progress, it will have the potential to
complement if not supplement the U.S. and Europe as a driver of
global development. ..."

YOUNG

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