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Cablegate: Kaohsiung Vice Mayor Chiu Tai-San On Frank Hsieh's

VZCZCXRO8856
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHIN #1547 1920645
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110645Z JUL 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5938
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7009
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 1214
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1992
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 5960
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0390
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8257

UNCLAS TAIPEI 001547

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AIT/W, EAP/TC, INR/EAP

FROM AIT KAOHSIUNG BRANCH OFFICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV TW
SUBJECT: Kaohsiung Vice Mayor Chiu Tai-san on Frank Hsieh's
Presidential Candidacy


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

1. (SBU) Summary: Kaohsiung Vice Mayor Chiu Tai-san recently told
AIT/K that it is widely anticipated within DPP circles that
presidential candidate Frank Hsieh will select Kaohsiung's former
acting Mayor Yeh Chu-lan as his running mate. Despite a great deal
of discontent in the party initially over Hsieh's primary victory,
DPP members will pull out all stops to see him elected, Chiu said.
Hsieh is a strong leader who will compromise as necessary but also
hold the line as needed on cross-Strait policy, he added. End
summary.

Presidential Election - Running Mate and Issues
--------------------------------------------- --
2. (SBU) Kaohsiung City Vice Mayor Chiu Tai-san recently predicted
to AIT/K that DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh will select Yeh
Chu-lan as his running mate. DPP supporters will fully back Hsieh's
choice, Chiu said, because "the winner takes all, and therefore
Frank Hsieh has the right to choose his running mate."

3. (SBU) Chiu said it will not become clear until after October
what issues will resonate with Taiwan voters in the 2008
presidential election. As the campaigning starts to gather steam in
October, President Chen will skillfully throw out a new issue every
two weeks in the media to test the reaction of the people, Chiu
suggested. Any issue advanced by Chen that draws particular
attention from voters will be in the forefront of the presidential
campaign, he added.

Frank Hsieh - Full of Tactics but No Cross-Strait Policy
--------------------------------------------- ----------
4. (SBU) To most people Hsieh may seem flexible and willing to
compromise, Chiu said, but he is actually a tactical thinker who
maneuvers to achieve his goals. Hsieh does not have a publicly
defined person or group identified as his "think tank", so it is not
certain what approach he will take toward cross-Strait issues or
potential pressure from China. Hsieh's previous reluctance to
clearly express his cross-Strait policy has attracted criticism from
Deep Green party members. Once he has formed a campaign team,
however, Hsieh's views on important policy issues will become much
clearer, Chiu suggested.

President Chen and Frank Hsieh
------------------------------
5. (SBU) Chiu predicted that President Chen Shui-bian will be very
bored after he finishes his tenure. When asked whether President
Chen will retain his influence in Taiwan's political arena, Chiu
suggested that will depend on how the next president manages the
relationship and handles his differences with the ex-president.
Just as President Chen did not maintain a good relationship with
former President Lee Teng-hui, Chiu observed, Hsieh will run the
same risk with soon-to-be former President Chen.

Thiele

Young

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