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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cross-Strait Relations

VZCZCXYZ2491
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0299 0650936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050936Z MAR 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8262
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7889
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9146

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000299

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: CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS


Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused March 5
news coverage on the upcoming presidential poll; on the Pentagon's
Monday release of its annual report on Chinese military growth; on a
Taiwan F-16 fighter jet which went missing Tuesday during a routine
training mission; and on the soaring cost of international plane
tickets. The pro-independence "Liberty Times" front-paged an
exclusive news story stating that during the lead-up to Taiwan's
presidential election senior Taiwan officials have been briefing
their counterparts in Washington on the Chinese military's movements
across the Taiwan Strait. All of the Chinese military's unusual
behavior has been under close surveillance by the U.S., the report
said. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a "Liberty Times"
editorial cautioned the public to be vigilant of China's attempt to
use economic benefits to facilitate unification across the Taiwan
Strait. End summary.

"Be Vigilant against China's Attempt to Play the 'Economic Card'
against Taiwan - Slowly Boiling the Frog in the Pan" [Ed.: from a
Chinese saying about gaining advantage over one's opponent by
subtle, stealthy maneuvers]

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (3/5):

"... Using the economic united front tactic to win over Taiwan is
exactly the new means China has been using to fight [Taiwan]
independence and facilitate unification. Given that all the verbal
attacks and saber-rattling have failed to work, China has already
changed its strategy and adopted a guideline of using economic
[benefits] to foster unification. In other words, Beijing wants to
absorb Taiwan economically so as to rapidly increase Taiwan's
dependence on China's economy. Once Taiwan's economy is controlled
by China, China will be able to do anything it desires with Taiwan.
Taiwan, as a result, will be powerless to resist [China], and the
so-called peaceful unification (namely, to annex Taiwan) will be
achieved naturally. ...

"Having undergone a thorough transformation to democracy, the Taiwan
people believe in the power of the people and insist that Taiwan's
future must be determined by the 23 million Taiwan people. They
thus find China's evil ambitions to annex Taiwan totally
unacceptable. But [Beijing's] new approach to use economic
[benefits] to facilitate unification is akin to boiling a frog in
the cold water; the frog will get accustomed to the temperature
increase gradually and will be boiled imperceptibly in the end. The
fact that China has maintained an unusually low-profile in Taiwan's
presidential election this time is an indication that it is playing
the economic card in an attempt to paralyze the vigilance of the
Taiwan voters. ..."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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