Cablegate: Media Reaction: China and Tibet, Iraq
DE RUEHIN #0560 1140936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230936Z APR 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8743
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8189
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9427
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000560
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: CHINA AND TIBET, IRAQ
1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies continued to
focus their April 23 news coverage on the recent announcement of the
new Cabinet appointments; on a group of Chinese real estate tycoons'
visit to Taiwan; and on president-elect Ma Ying-jeou's platform to
levy an energy tax in the future. In terms of editorials and
commentaries, an editorial in the pro-independence "Liberty Times"
criticizing Beijing for manipulating nationalistic sentiments among
the Chinese people and taking advantage of anti-foreign protests to
intimidate foreign businesses. A column in the centrist,
KMT-leaning "China Times," on the other hand, commented on the war
in Iraq and said it is the watershed that marks the decline of the
U.S. "empire." End summary.
2. China and Tibet
"Beijing's Manipulation of Nationalism Will Cause Heavy Losses for
The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
"... What is really absurd is the fact that the boycott against the
[Olympic] torch relay around the world was triggered by China's
crackdown on Tibet. It is thus China's fault, and the Chinese
people should feel ashamed of the brutality of the Beijing regime.
But in order to shift domestic resentment in China, Beijing
unexpectedly manipulated nationalistic sentiment in an attempt to
take advantage of its people's anti-foreign protests to intimidate
other countries and foreign businesses. ...
"China declared to the public its 'peaceful rise' and that it 'will
not seek hegemony,' and the international community all welcomed
such a move, believing that it conducive to world peace and
stability. But it appears that China only used some good words to
create a good image for itself, while in reality it still sticks to
its way of doing things, lords it over others, and remains
domineering, tyrannical and obsessed with [takig] the road of
totalitarianism and hegemony. China must accept the laws and values
of the civilized world and should no longer manipulate populism just
to counter the international community. Otherwise, it will only
find that the road it is taking getting narrower and consequently
ending up at a dead end."
"The War in Iraq Is the Watershed That Marks Decline of the U.S.
Columnist Lin Po-wen commented in his column in the centrist,
KMT-leaning "China Times" [circulation: 400,000] (4/23):
"... In September 2005, [then-]U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert
Zoellick publicly demanded that China work to become a 'responsible
stakeholder' on the international stage. But in reality, during the
Cold War and post-Cold War periods, the United States has constantly
played the role of an irresponsible stakeholder, particularly when
it comes to the Middle East issue. The Middle East issue [used to]
refer to the Palestinian problem, and now added to it is the issue
of Iraq. The United States should be held largely responsible for
the failure to resolve the Palestinian problem. As for Iraq, what
the United States has been doing is digging its own grave, and its
originator, [President George W.] Bush, will step down January 20,
2009, while the new president will have to take over the mess.
Regardless of whether or not the United States withdraws its
soldiers [from Iraq], the war in Iraq has severely damaged the
United States' strength, just as the Boer War did to the British
Empire. Perhaps it will still be a long time before [we] move from
the decline of the United States to the rise of the century of Asia,
but we can at least see the light of the day in the distance now."