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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan's Un Referenda, Dalai Lama And

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0331 0710947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110947Z MAR 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8323
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7917
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9171

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000331

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: TAIWAN'S UN REFERENDA, DALAI LAMA AND
TIBETAN INDEPENDENCE


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage March 11 on the upcoming presidential poll and the UN
referenda, on the televised policy discussion between the two vice
presidential candidates Monday, and on the baseball game between
Taiwan and Canada in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in
Taichung Monday. All local papers also reported on a Taiwan Central
Election Commission announcement Monday saying that none of the
presidential candidates or their running mates has either U.S. or
Japanese nationality. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an
editorial in the pro-independence "Liberty Times" urged the voters
to cast their referendum ballots for Taiwan's UN membership. An
editorial in the conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post," on the other hand, discussed the Dalai Lama's recent
call for a "middle path" of more autonomy for Tibet. The article
said the Dalai Lama's call is a sensible one, as he knows more than
anybody else that Tibetan independence is impossible. End summary.

2. Taiwan's UN Referenda

"Vote for Taiwan -- No One Should Be Absent from Casting the
Referendum Ballots on [Taiwan's] UN Membership"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (3/11):

"... It must be borne in mind that if the referenda to join or
re-join the UN fail to pass [the threshold of percentage of voters]
just because of external force, we will suffer intervention of [a
similar] external force when we want to decide on our own destiny in
the future. In particular, China will know the trick by then and
will try harder to intervene. This is because the success in
suppressing Taiwan's referenda this time will mislead
ill-intentioned China to believe that the Taiwan people will abandon
their insistence on Taiwan-centric values and let others do whatever
they want to the island, as long as Beijing continues imposing
pressure on Taiwan and the international community.

"Everyone must recognize clearly today that the success of the UN
referenda will by no means indicate the success of any particular
political party; rather, it is where Taiwan's destiny hinges. In
substance, the move not to pick up the referendum ballots means that
one is against Taiwan, not the referenda themselves. Once the KMT
comes up with a bad decision of [calling on its supporters] not to
pick up the referendum ballots, it will be akin to revealing [to the
public] that it had deceived in proposing the referendum to re-join
the UN, whereas its real intent was to oppose Taiwan. [Should this
be the case,] the voters will reject the KMT with scorn -- a
development that the KMT surely will not welcome.

"Externally speaking, the referenda to join or re-join the UN are
aimed at expressing the Taiwan people's will to oppose China's
annexation and to join the international community. Internally,
they are a major step to push for Taiwan becoming a normal country.
It is safe to say that every Taiwan citizen has a responsibility as
to whether the referenda will be passed. For the sake of Taiwan and
our descendants, the ruling and opposition parties should rise
beyond the thinking of antagonism, and all our people should stand
on the high ground of history and recognize clearly the profound
impact of the referendum results [on Taiwan]. As the masters of
this country, we must try our best to carry out our mission and let
our descendants be proud of our anti-annexation movement."

3. Dalai Lama and Tibetan Independence

"The Dalai Lama's Sensible Call"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (3/11):

"Over 100 Tibetan exiles in India started a march to their homeland
yesterday, as part of protests marking the Dalai Lama's escape from
capture by the Chinese in 1959. They hope to reach the undisclosed
destination of their six-month trek in time to draw world attention
to the Chinese occupation of Tibet as this year's Summer Olympics
open in Beijing in August. They want independence, a total
separation from China that asserted sovereignty over Tibet in 1720.
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader who was forced into exile in
Dharamsala in north India, has long distanced himself from calls for
independence. He is pleading instead for a 'middle path' of more
autonomy from China for Tibet. ... His is a sensible call. It is
absolutely senseless to try the impossible. The Tibetans have
worldwide support for independence, but they have to take the next
best choice: the Dalai Lama's middle path. Taiwan's independence
activists should look for a leader like the Dalai Lama."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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