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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0483 0972240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 062240Z APR 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8633
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8134
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9373

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000483

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: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS


Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused their
April 3 news coverage on president-elect Ma Ying-jeou's interest in
visiting the United States before his inauguration; on the
infighting and reform of the defeated DPP; on Ma's remarks Tuesday
that the ban on the direct exchange of the New Taiwan dollar for the
Chinese yuan will be lifted by the end of 2008; on the investigation
into a China Airlines procurement case that involved senior
government officials possibly taking kickbacks; and on Wang
Chien-ming, the Taiwan-born Yankees starting pitcher, who got his
first win of the season Wednesday. Both the pro-unification "United
Daily News" and the centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times" reported on
their inside pages that Ma's close aides are still negotiating with
Washington about Ma's request to visit the United States before May
20, and both sides are still hoping to find a way to handle the
matter in a manner acceptable both to Ma and to Washington. In terms
of editorials and commentaries, a "China Times" op-ed said the DPP's
governance over the past eight years has put Taiwan in an awkward
position, which pleases neither Washington nor Beijing. The article
urged the incoming KMT administration to take advantage of Taiwan's
democratic values and use them to strive for the overriding
interests of Taiwan. End summary.

[Ed. Note: A searchable archive of past issues of AIT/Taipei's media
review products may be found at
www.intelink.gov/communities/state/taiwanmedi areview.]

"Use Soft Power to Highlight Taiwan's Values"

Professor Chao Chun-shan of Tamkang University's Graduate Institute
of China Studies opined in the centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times"
[circulation: 400,000] (4/3):

"The question of whether president-elect Ma Ying-jeou is able to
visit the United States before his inauguration has aroused the
concern of the Taiwan people. Signals from all sides indicate that
perhaps the key still lies in Washington-Beijing ties. Ma won the
March presidential election with an overwhelming majority. Given
the intimacy of the substantive relations between Taiwan and the
United States and the fact that Washington always boasts about its
promotion of democratic values, it really does not make sense for
Washington to reject Ma's visit. But in consideration of the United
States' practical interests, it seems that Washington must also take
Beijing's reaction into consideration. All these have highlighted
the external situation Taiwan is facing and the question of how the
KMT is going to resolve Taiwan's diplomatic predicament after it
takes over the helm. ...

"Washington-Beijing relations reveal this characteristic of 'uniting
while also competing', which thus provides traditional allies of the
United States, such as Japan and South Korea, with an opportunity to
expand their relations with Beijing. Under the diplomatic banner of
pursuing 'independence and self-determination,' these countries seek
to maintain close military contact with the United States on the one
hand and proactively to strengthen their bilateral ties with Beijing
on the other. In other words, these countries have broken away from
the traditional Cold-War-era thinking and no longer regard
themselves as 'pawns' used to contain Beijing. Instead, they want
to keep pace with the United States and jump on the bandwagon of
engaging with Beijing. ...

"A look back at Taiwan shows that DPP rule over the past eight years
has landed Taiwan in an awkward position that pleases neither
Washington nor Beijing. The United States took Taiwan's loyalty
toward it for granted, but Taiwan did not get the reward it
deserves. On the contrary, the DPP's hostility against Beijing has
won Taiwan an evil reputation of being a 'troublemaker.' How
unbearable this is for the Taiwan people! This writer personally
believes that the key lies in the fact that the DPP administration
has overemphasized the United States' 'containment' of Beijing while
overlooking the aspect of [Washington's] 'engagement' with Beijing.
In other words, the DPP administration has failed to take full
advantage of Taiwan's values and used them to strive to win the
greatest advantage for Taiwan. ..."

YOUNG

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