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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Kosovo Independence and Taiwan

VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0244 0530908
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220908Z FEB 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8176
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7856
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9115

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000244

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: KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE AND TAIWAN


Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage February 22 on a U.S. Navy cruiser which launched a missile
Wednesday and successfully destroyed a dying U.S. spy satellite
carrying toxic fuel; on Taiwan's March presidential poll and the UN
referenda; and on the island-wide celebrations of the lantern
festival Thursday. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a
column in the pro-independence "Liberty Times" compared Taiwan's bid
to join the UN with Kosovo's recent declaration of independence.
The article concluded that, unless Taiwan joins the UN, it will be
difficult for the island to have a foothold in the international
community. An editorial in the pro-independence, English-language
"Taipei Times" also chimed in, saying that the United States' and
other countries' willingness to recognize Kosovo in the face of
fierce opposition from Russia and China "must be particularly
galling for Taiwan's independence supporters." End summary.

A) "[Is Taiwan] Not Even as Good as Kosovo?"

The "Free Talks" column in the pro-independence "Liberty Times"
[circulation: 720,000] wrote (2/22

"... Taiwan's qualifications for independence are much better than
those of most UN member states. Kosovo has a population which is
only one tenth of that of Taiwan's, and its national territory is
only one third of Taiwan's. Even though it has yet to join the UN,
Kosovo was immediately acknowledged by the United States and most EU
nations once it declared independence. Sooner or later, it will
become a UN member. Given Kosovo's case, it will be difficult for
Taiwan to have a foothold in the international community unless it
joins the UN. Although it may be a tough task for Taiwan to become
a UN member, the move to cast a referendum ballot to show support
for Taiwan's UN membership will be able to convey the Taiwan
people's desire [to the international community]. Unless the Blue
camp has some secretive agenda in mind, how difficult can it be for
it to support Taiwan's UN referenda?"

B) "One Rule for Kosovo, One for Taiwan"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] editorialized (2/21):

"... The fact that nations such as the US and the UK are willing to
recognize Kosovo in the face of fierce opposition from Russia and
China must be particularly galling for Taiwan's independence
supporters, but apart from a few obvious parallels that can be
drawn, the similarities between Kosovo and Taiwan end there. The
main difference is that an overwhelming majority of the population
in Kosovo -- the 90 percent who are ethnic Albanians -- support
independence, while in Taiwan support for independence remains to
the side of mainstream public opinion and is even divided among
ethnic groups. ...

"Rice cited the ethnic cleansing and 'crimes against civilians' that
took part during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia as proof of
Kosovo's unique status. The problem for Taiwan is that it
experienced a form of ethnic cleansing -- the 228 Incident and White
Terror ethnic discrimination -- at a time when such events were
better hidden from the scrutiny of the world press. Add to that the
geopolitical situation in the region, which meant that any support
for a nascent independence movement was ignored. ... The problem is
that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must now decide whether to
hand complete control of Kosovo over to NATO, a decision that can
only be made by the UN Security Council -- where China and Russia
have veto powers. Until that decision is made, Kosovo remains in
the hands of UN peacekeepers and at the mercy of China, meaning that
in all likelihood Taiwan will end up empty-handed and
independence-minded Taiwanese will once again have to sit on the
sidelines jealously watching a newly formed nation celebrate its
freedom."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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