Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations
DE RUEHIN #0927 1160900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 260900Z APR 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5022
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6680
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 7931
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000927
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
1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave extensive
coverage April 26 to New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming, who
played in his first Major League Baseball game Wednesday after a leg
injury in the pre-season. News coverage also focused on the 2008
presidential elections, on the Olympic torch relay issue, and on the
Executive Yuan's plan to recover the KMT's ill-gotten party assets.
Two major Chinese-language dailies -- the pro-independence "Liberty
Times" and the pro-unification "United Daily News" -- carried in
inside pages the news that AIT Taipei Director Stephen Young plans
to give a press conference on May 3, and both papers speculated on
the topics Young may possibly address. The "United Daily News" also
ran a news story by Washington correspondent Vincent Chang on page
four with the headline "The United States Does Not Support Taiwan's
Development of Offensive Weapons."
2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a "Liberty Times"
editorial discussed a recently-published "Defense News" article on
Chinese spies working in Taiwan. The article criticized the Blue
camp for blocking major arms procurements and urged the Taiwan
government to maintain vigilance and establish a security mechanism
in an attempt to save the island from the crisis of being annexed.
"U.S. Defense News Weekly Warns Taiwan: Infiltrating Chinese Spies
Makes [the Island] Beset with Crises"
The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 500,000]
"... The inside stories revealed by the Defense News weekly
regarding how Chinese spies work in Taiwan did not surprise us.
Given Beijing's eager intent to annex Taiwan, it is natural that
China will not wait for Taiwan to collapse itself but will use every
means it can to achieve its goal, including those that Beijing is
particularly good at - infiltration, united-front, and divisive
tactics, as well as sowing discord among people. ...
"In fact, big holes have been found in Taiwan's national defense
system, and the crises Taiwan is facing are multi-faceted. In terms
of strengthening Taiwan's military buildup, the Blue camp's moves to
block the major arms procurement budget have made Taiwan's
military's plan to renew its weapons impossible, and as a result,
the military's weapons and equipment have gradually grown obsolete.
How is our poorly-equipped military supposed to defend Taiwan
against China's well-equipped, invincible army? This is indeed a
big crisis for Taiwan. What is even more worrisome is the fact that
the Blue politicians are blocking major arms procurements for the
island on the one hand and busy traveling between both sides of the
Taiwan Strait on the other in an attempt to hollow out Taiwan by
encouraging more Taiwan businessmen to go west in the name of
promoting cross-Strait trade and economic exchanges. ...
"In other words, what the U.S. Defense News weekly exposed is
nothing but the tip of the iceberg. Both the public and private
sectors in Taiwan must work together to maintain vigilance and build
up a security mechanism in order to take precautions and save Taiwan
from the crisis of being annexed [by China]."