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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Kosovo Independence

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0266 0570811
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 260811Z FEB 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8209
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7865
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9126

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000266

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


Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage February 26 on the March presidential poll and the UN
referenda; on the rise of Taiwan's stock index and the recent
appreciation of the New Taiwan Dollar; and on the 80th Academy
Awards held in Los Angeles Sunday. The pro-independence "Liberty
Times" front-paged an exclusive news story saying that the U.S.
military has recommended that Taiwan seek help through the
U.S.-Taiwan mutual legal assistance agreement (MLAA) in order to
remain abreast of the ongoing investigation of the Chinese espionage
case in the United States. In terms of editorials and commentaries,
a "Liberty Times" editorial discussed Kosovo's recent declaration of
independence and said that Kosovo's is a "general case," not a
special case [as the U.S. and other countries have said], for
countries and peoples suffering from oppression. An editorial in
the conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post,"
however, said "Beijing should learn from Serbia's non-violent
approach toward Kosovo's independence move." End summary.

A) "Kosovo Independence Is a General Case, Not a Special One"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (2/26):

"... The most noteworthy case is the United States. Washington is
one of the key players that have immediately acknowledged Kosovo's
nation-founding move; it did so even at the risk of offending
Russia. Yet in her statement recognizing Kosovo's independence,
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice added superfluously that
Kosovo is a special case which cannot be seen as a precedent for
other [similar] situations in the world now. Rice cited the breakup
of the former Yugoslavia, the history of ethnic cleansing and
serious crimes against civilians in Kosovo to emphasize that
Kosovo's situation is unique. What Rice did not mention was that,
when it comes to Kosovo's independence, the United States' major
concern was that a majority of the Albanians in Kosovo are Muslim,
so Washington's immediate recognition of Kosovo was a gesture of
goodwill toward the Islamic world. What is of equal importance is
that, since both Russia and China are facing calls for independence
inside their countries, the United States did not want to irritate
excessively these two countries that are the strongest opponents of
Kosovo's independence. In any case, each country has its unique
situation. There is still a chance for other territories seeking
independence to pave the way toward their goals, as long as they can
unite their strength against other countries' [opposition], and as
long as it meets the United States' strategic interests. ... Based
on this, Kosovo's internal solidarity and strong will are essential
factors for Taiwan on the latter's road to resist China's
annexation. Kosovo's eventual independence should be viewed as a
general case, not a special one, for countries and peoples that are
under oppression."

B) "Kosovo a Lesson for Beijing"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (2/26):

"... Beijing has consistently declared that negotiation and
dialogue, not unilateral action, is the correct way to resolve the
Kosovo issue. China has a panoply of diplomatic, political and
economic means to peacefully induce the people of Taiwan to embrace
a relationship with China. Serbia, in contrast, lacks even a
fraction of this economic influence over Kosovar Albanians. Still,
the Serbian renunciation of violence to retain Kosovo offers lessons
for Beijing.

"With the possibility that the next president in Taiwan will look
more favorably on the mainland, it is suggested that Beijing should
look at new ways to encourage Taipei to reconsider its push for
independence. For instance, Beijing could scale back the number of
flights that its jetfighters regularly make over the Strait,
announce a freeze in its military buildup across it, and declare a
freeze on the manufacture of new missiles and on deployment of new
units to launch them. In the world today, there are about 2,000
nationalities in 200 loose states and 20 broadly homogenous
nation-states. The emergence of Kosovo as an independent country
provides an example, which can contribute to a new, peaceful
paradigm for China and Taiwan. Dialogue and renunciation of
violence will better serve China's interests in ensuring a peaceful
resolution of the Taiwan issue. Beijing should learn from Serbia's
non-violence approach toward Kosovo's independence move."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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