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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Taiwan Relations, Chinese Product

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1880 2290917
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170917Z AUG 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6429
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7138
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8390

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001880

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - NIDA EMMONS
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.-TAIWAN RELATIONS, CHINESE PRODUCT
RELIABILITY


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage August 17 on Typhoon Sepat, which is expected to hit Taiwan
later today; on the plunge of Taiwan's stock price index Thursday;
on the strong backlash from local pig farmers over the government's
decision to lift the ban on ractopamine residues in pork; and on the
2008 presidential election. Several papers carried on their inside
pages remarks by AIT Director Stephen Young at a Chinese National
Federation of Industries forum Thursday that the United States will
closely cooperate with Taiwan no matter who wins next year's
presidential elections.

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the
pro-unification "United Daily News" criticized the Chen Shui-bian
administration for lifting the ban on ractopamine residues in pork.
The article said Chen has put his personal benefits ahead of the
health of the Taiwan people. An editorial in the pro-independence
"Liberty Times," however, criticized the tainted Chinese products
sold all over the world and urged the Taiwan government to control
the imports of Chinese products. End summary.

3. U.S.-Taiwan Relations

"A Thousand Tons of U.S. Pork Breaks the Nativist Myth of the DPP"

The pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000]
editorialized (8/17):

"During the last few years of the Qing Dynasty, great powers from
the West knocked open China's ports with their state-of-the-art
ships and artillery. The same episode repeated itself after one and
a half century, except that this time it was a thousand tons of U.S.
pork that has knocked down the front door of the Bian
administration. ...

"Some legislators alleged that the [Taiwan] government's decision to
lift the ban [on ractopamine residues in pork] this time was a move
in exchange for [better] treatment for Chen's [upcoming] transit in
the United States. Regardless of the authenticity of such
allegation, the policy change this time was both abrupt and full of
many coincidences, and it has indeed put the Bian administration in
the ridicule of 'using pork to exchange for foreign relations.'
What a filthy deal!

"Chen Shui-bian constantly emphasized 'Taiwan's dignity' in public,
and he was daring enough to confront the United States directly with
his odyssey and the UN referendum just to show his personal
feelings. On the other hand, however, he could turn around and sell
out the Taiwan people's health in exchange for the treatment of his
transit. Given such circumstances, where can one find Taiwan's
dignity? It is obvious that in A-Bian's eyes, his personal benefits
always come first before the United States or Taiwan. ..."

4. Chinese Product Reliability

"The Government Should Adopt Effective Measures to Control Tainted
Chinese Products from Being Imported to Taiwan"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (8/17):

"... Using its competitive edge in low prices, Chinese products are
sold all over the world, practically warding off competitors from
other countries, ratcheting the country's foreign reserves up as
high as USD 1.2 trillion now, and thus building up its powerful
national strength. However, the reputation of China's manufacturing
industry, the hub for the country's economic growth, is severely
damaged because of the constantly reported counterfeit and safety
problems of its products. Once the consumers and governments of
other countries decide to adopt measures to boycott the cheap but
unsafe Chinese products and to choose high-quality products
manufactured in other countries instead, China's manufacturing
industry will surely be severely damaged, and its economic
prosperity will be put in a critical situation. Given the threat of
Chinese products flooding the world, the Taiwan government, in
particular, should shoulder the responsibility of solidly
controlling imports of Chinese products, in an attempt to secure
Taiwan's economic roots and to protect the lives and safety of the
Taiwan people. This is the right way for Taiwan to stay safe and
sound and shun the course of calamity given the fact that the
bubbles of China's economic prosperity are about to burst."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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