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Cablegate: Fuzhou Academic Sees Dpp Pushing Independence Button In

VZCZCXRO6714
OO RUEHCN RUEHVC
DE RUEHGH #0195/01 0960223
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 060223Z APR 07
FM AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5673
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 0126
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 6049

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SHANGHAI 000195

SIPDIS

USDOC
SENSITIVE
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STATE FOR EAP/CM AND DRL
USDA FOR FAS/ITP AND FAS/FAA
USDOC FOR 4420/ITA/MAC/MCQUEEN
USPACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV SOCI EAGR EINV CH
SUBJECT: FUZHOU ACADEMIC SEES DPP PUSHING INDEPENDENCE BUTTON IN
ELECTION RHETORIC


SHANGHAI 00000195 001.2 OF 003


IMPORTANT NOTE - THIS IS A GUANGZHOU TELEGRAM
- - - - - - - ONLY TRANSMITTED BY SHANGHAI


(U) This document is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.


1. (U) SUMMARY: A renowned scholar of Taiwan believes that the
upcoming presidential election will see Chen Shui-bian and other
Democratic Progress Party (DPP) candidates continue to advocate
independence and consciously stir up ethnic confrontation on the
island during their campaigns. Voters in southern Taiwan,
despite their dissatisfaction with the DPP administration,
remain solid in support of the party for largely historical
reasons associated with their opposition to the Kuomintang and
the divide in allegiances North and South. In any case, he does
not foresee significant change in Taiwan's mainland policy,
regardless who wins the presidency. Beijing is concerned about
the DPP going too far, but will try to avoid conflict while
promoting civil cross-strait exchanges. History is ultimately
on the side of the mainland, he believes. END SUMMARY

2. (U) At a March 27 meeting with the Consul General and
Consulate staff, Professor Wu Nengyuan, Director of the Taiwan
Research Institute at the Fujian Social Science Academy, said
that over the course of the past 14 years, he has visited Taiwan
a dozen times since 1993 and spoken with his friends in Taiwan's
political, academic, and business circles, including members of
the Democratic Progress Party, have discussed with him recent
political developments as well as the DPP's use of the
independence issue. For his part, Professor Wu elaborated on
concerns about recent political developments, and near future
trends in Taiwanese politics.

------------------------------ -------------------
Confrontation between Northern and Southern Taiwan
------------------------------ -------------------

3. (U) Professor Wu believes that the crux of the Taiwan issue
is a confrontation between north and south Taiwan. After the
Kuomintang (KMT) government relocated to Taiwan in 1949, most of
its efforts were oriented toward developing the north; few
resources were devoted to the South, which remained rural and
agrarian. Only in the 1970's did the KMT recognize the divide
created by the ensuring income gap and seek to locate large
industrial projects in the rural south. As a result, southern
farmers and workers continue to resent the KMT and will remain
DPP supporters despite their disappointment with the Chen
Administration's handling of government affairs, including the
economy and relations with mainland China.

--------------- -------------------------------
DPP Uses Ethnic Confrontation as Political Tool
--------------- -------------------------------

4. (U) Professor Wu observed that some of Taiwan's political
parties, especially the DPP, have used ethnic issues to make up
for their administrative failings and to improve their standing
in elections. While Wu admitted that the island's "complex
history" has left some ethnic Taiwanese bitter, the DPP has
exacerbated the situation by promoting ethnic confrontation and
shaping cross-straight relations into a debate of "unification
versus independence."

--------------- ----------------------------
The Curse of an Independence Driven Ideology
--------------- ----------------------------

5. (U) Wu remarked that during the DPP's seven years in power
its leaders have shown a great deal of inconsistency in their
positions on cross-strait relations. While some have taken a
strict pro-independence stance, others promote integration with
the Mainland. He gave three examples: Frank Hsieh, a key DDP
leader under Chen Shui-bian and former mayor of Kaohsiung,
wanted to visit the Mainland to push the "big three-links." Su
Tseng-chang, a presidential candidate, once proposed new

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policies favoring the "three-links" and economic openness toward
the Mainland economy after he became Premier. Even Chen
Shui-bian, at the start of his presidency, wanted to adopt a

SHANGHAI 00000195 002.2 OF 003


"new central line" policy. Wu believes these inconsistencies
resulted from constraints embedded in the DPP's independence
ideology and referred to the "curse of an independence
ideology."

------------------------------
The Next Presidential Campaign
------------------------------

6. (U) According to Wu, the presidential campaign period,
September 2007 through March 2008, will be a critical time for
cross-strait relations and poses serious risks. He believes
that Chen Shui-bian will try his best to amend the Republic of
China's (ROC) Constitution and that Chen Shui-bian is determined
to push the amendment issue to preserve his influence in
Taiwan's political circles by showing independence
fundamentalists that "he will do something." The plan might
garner support from some KMT legislators since it also involves
internal reforms such as adopting a cabinet-system and changing
the number of seats in the Legislative Yuan. The plan thus
serves the interests of many opposition legislators who might
not vote against it at the last minute.

7. (U) Despite previous promises not to lead Taiwan toward
independence, Professor Wu pointed out that Chen Shui-bian's
recent announcement of "four wants and one no" is exactly
contrary to the positions he declared during his presidential
inauguration. Chen Shui-bian has now affirmed: "Taiwan needs to
become independent, needs to correct its name, needs to make a
new constitution, and needs to develop. There is no left or
right line issue in Taiwan, but just the problem of unification
versus independence."

8. (U) While some believe that KMT control of the Legislative
Yuan precludes any moves toward independence, Wu believes that
Chen might seek alternative methods of ratification such as a
referendum. In fact, Wu felt strongly that the DPP has no
choice but to move further towards a "deep green" ideology. He
based this on the fact that when the DPP was making a bid for
the presidency, it campaigned on a promise to be a clean and
quality government. In his opinion, the party has failed to
keep this promise, failed to manage foreign and internal affairs
and suffered from several corruption scandals involving Chen
Shui-bian's family. Therefore, he concluded that the only card
the DPP has to play is to further stir up ethnic confrontation
and raise the independence issue. As evidence, Wu cited the
recent television debate held on March 24th among Frank Hsieh,
Yu Shyi-kun and Su Tseng-chang. Wu found that each of the three
trying to prove that he was "greener" than the other.

------------------
Beijing's concerns
------------------

9. (U) Wu did not directly respond to the Consul General's
question about whether Chen Shui-bian's "four wants and one no"
had "crossed the line for Beijing," but he acknowledged that
Beijing is very concerned about the aggressiveness of Chen and
the DPP. Beijing's current top priority is to seize the rare
opportunity of a stable global environment to solve many of the
Mainland's internal development problems. He asserted that
Beijing understands unification with Taiwan will be a very long
and difficult process, but it would take action if the DPP
crossed its "bottom line" as set out in the Anti-Secession Law.
Currently, however, Beijing's Taiwan strategy is to promote more
economic, social and cultural exchanges between the people
across the strait.

------------------------------------
Taiwan's post-Chen mainland policies
------------------------------------

10. (U) If the KMT wins the 2008 election and Ma Yingjeou
becomes the next president, Wu predicts that Ma will not make
many changes to Taiwan's mainland policy. Rather, Ma is likely
to promote continued economic exchanges and the "three big
links." However, Wu believes Ma will face great pressure from
DPP "deep green" politicians in implementing his policies. Among
the four DPP candidates - Frank Hsieh, Annette Lu, Yu Shyi-kun
and Su Tseng-chang - Wu thinks that Hsieh and Su have better

SHANGHAI 00000195 003.2 OF 003


chances than Yu and Lu because the latter do not have good
relations with other DPP members. Regardless who the DPP leader
is, Wu predicted that the party would be unable to break free
from its ideological constraints and would remain staunchly
pro-independent. In Wu's personal opinion, Su Tseng-chang is a
politician who compromises quickly, citing Su's position on
"name change" as an example. (The "name change" refers to
replacing the characters for "China" with "Taiwan" in the titles
of government agencies and state-run enterprises.) Professor Wu
said that Su did not really support the change but buckled under
party pressure.

---------------------------------- ------------------
COMMENT: Let Matters Lie if Taiwan Does not Cross Lines
---------------------------------- ------------------

11. (U) Beijing has two major internal goals: to continue
economic and social development on the mainland and to regain
Taiwan to restore China's territorial integrity. Since Beijing
cannot resolve both simultaneously, it has chosen to focus on
the former and maintain the status quo on the latter with the
hope of a future resolution, without giving up ground to
incremental moves by Taiwan toward independence. The upcoming
election poses risks for China of rhetorical excesses by
pan-Green candidates and disappointments that there will be no
new initiatives from a KMT presidential winner. Whether Beijing
has any policy other than to continue maintaining the status quo
in the face of little or no change after 2008 is unclear, but
from this conversation, at least, it looks more and more as
though China does not have a whole lot of options to consider or
cards to play.
JARRETT

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