Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S. Presidential Election
DE RUEHIN #0011 0030942
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030942Z JAN 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7720
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7614
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8885
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000011
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. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage on KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's interviews; on
the upcoming legislative election and alleged vote-buying cases in
various constituencies. In terms of editorials and commentaries, on
the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Chong-Pin Lin, Taiwan's former deputy
defense minister, wrote in the pro-independence, English-language
"Taipei Times" and offered his views on the prospects for the United
States and the world if Illinois Senator Barack Obama is elected
U.S. President. End summary.
"What an Obama Presidency Means"
Chong-Pin Lin, Taiwan's former deputy defense minister and president
of the Foundation on International and Cross-Strait Studies in
Taipei, opined in the pro-independence, English-language "Taipei
Times" [circulation: 30,000] (1/3):
"... In short, being black is no longer a hindrance to entering the
"It is also the case, therefore, that being a woman has no negative
consequences for Hillary Clinton. However, voters may find their
democratic ethos objecting to 28 consecutive years of a family
presidency: four years of Bush senior, eight of Bush junior, eight
of Bill Clinton and another eight of Hillary.
"... Obama's record on opposing the Iraq War has perhaps become his
greatest campaign asset in contrast to not only Hillary Clinton, who
voted for the war, but also most Republican hopefuls who have
supported the war at some stage. In November, Bill Clinton's remark
on TV that he opposed the Iraq War 'from the beginning' brought
endless headaches to Hillary's team.
"... What would an Obama presidency augur?
"First, US withdrawal from Iraq. That will start a noticeable,
though gradual, decline of US influence first in the Middle East,
and then in the rest of the world. China, still far behind the US
in economic and military terms, will become more formidable in the
eyes of other countries.
"Second, the US will turn inward. Washington will place domestic
economics and social agendas before military expansion and
"Third, there will be an end to unilateralism. Washington will
consult more with other powers and converse with even the 'rogue
states.' Relations with the Muslim world will improve.
"Fourth, environmental concerns will be taken more seriously.
Washington will no longer boycott international efforts to face
"Fifth, there will be a renaissance of spiritualism and humanism.
The US under Obama may become a world leader in the promotion of
spiritual and humanistic values."