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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cross-Strait Relations

VZCZCXYZ0056
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0535 1080843
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170843Z APR 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8711
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8173
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9409

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000535

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 their
April 17 news coverage on recent interaction between the two sides
of the Taiwan Strait; on the DPP's selection of its new chairman; on
speculation over possible personnel arrangements for the new Ma
Ying-jeou administration; and on a recent annual military drill
involving Taiwan leaders. Almost all papers on their inside pages
reported on a Chinese National Judicial Examination Center
announcement Wednesday that people from Taiwan are now allowed to
take China's bar exam and to practice law in China. In terms of
editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the conservative,
pro-unification, English-language "China Post" cautioned the
incoming Ma administration to be cautious in negotiating for peace
with Beijing. An editorial in the pro-independence "Taiwan News"
also warned that the KMT's 'open door' policy to China is both
dangerous and naive. End summary.

A) "Toward Greater Cross-Strait Peace"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (4/17):

"... Despite the seemingly rosy prospects, there are still pitfalls
and uncertainties. Although more contacts with the mainland will
help lower tension in the Taiwan Strait, Beijing's tendency to
regard the island as a province of the People's Republic of China
with no sovereignty of its own must be taken into consideration when
the Ma administration proceeds with its plans to promote peace
across the Strait. ...

"The ROC on Taiwan is a sovereign state, whose birth came long
before the founding of the PRC. Taiwan has never been ruled by the
Beijing regime. Until and unless the rulers of the mainland accept
this fact, it will be extremely hard for the two sides to enter into
a pact that can safely and effectively serve as the basis for
exchanges. The administration that will be formed under Ma must be
cautious in dealing with the Beijing regime. Pursuing rapprochement
is the hope of most Taiwan residents, but the island's interests and
security must come first in negotiating for peace with the
mainland."

B) "KMT 'Open Door' Risks Our Future"

The pro-independence "Taiwan News" [circulation: 20,000]
editorialized (4/27):

"The participation by Kuomintang vice president-elect Vincent Siew
in last weekend's Boao Forum For Asia, during which he met People's
Republic of China State Chairman Hu Jintao and other PRC official
and business heavyweights, is already being touted as a great boost
to Taiwan's allegedly 'stagnant' economy and stock market. ...
These expectations, which are now being deliberately fanned to spur
a speculative 'bubble' market, are likely to fall flat for the most
of Taiwan's 23 million citizens.

"In immediate terms, it is unrealistic to expect a dramatic boost
from the Hu - Siew meeting since the PRC state chairman did not
provide any concrete replies to the 'four expectations' proposed by
the KMT vice president-elect, including Beijing's approval of direct
chartered air links, permission for PRC tourists to visit Taiwan and
the rapid restoration of semi-official talks. In the longer-run,
Taiwan's long-term economic health and competitiveness may not be as
closely related to the alleged deadlock in cross-strait relations as
KMT leaders and pro-KMT media pundits have led our people to
believe. ...

"Besides fostering a speculative 'bubble' market, excessive economic
integration with the PRC will risk the disruption of Taiwan's
genuine 'wellspring' of economic progress as suppliers of advanced
technology from United States, Japan and Europe become more worried
over the possible erosion of protection for intellectual property
rights and the possible migration of advanced 'dual use' (civilian
and military) technology to PRC state firms. Siew's blithe
assumption that it is possible to 'separate politics from economics'
is not only dangerously naive but will serve as a cover for the
restoration of the power of the KMT political elite and their
associated economic and business vested interests who stand to gain
through accelerating economic integration with the PRC. Without a
strong regulatory framework to protect our core technology and block
the importation of PRC management methods and labor imports, Taiwan
will not only lose its political independence and economic autonomy
but will also lose the internal dynamism that is essential for our
continued economic progress and prosperity."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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