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

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0618/01 1260955
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050955Z MAY 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8851
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8229
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9474

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000618

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 news
coverage May 3-5 on the investigation into Taiwan's Papua New Guinea
fund scandal and on the New York Yankees' victory over the Seattle
Mariners with Taiwan pitcher Wang Chien-ming winning his sixth game
of the season. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an op-ed in
the pro-independence "Liberty Times" criticized the incoming Ma
Ying-jeou administration's policy of cross-Strait relations
outweighing foreign affairs and the impact on relations between
Taiwan and the United States. Another op-ed in the "Liberty Times"
said the argument that cross-Strait peace can be achieved by
cooperation in economic and trade relations between Taiwan and China
is not necessarily consistent with the United States' Asia-Pacific
security policy. End summary

A) "Cross-Strait [Relations] Outweighs Foreign Affairs, Four Big
Mistakes"

Lai I-chung, the Principal Deputy Director of the Department of
International Affairs of the DPP, opined in the pro-independence
"Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000] (5/5):

"... for countries with which [Taiwan] has no diplomatic relations,
such as the United States, Japan, Europe, and India, the argument
that cross-Strait [relations] outweigh foreign affairs will lead
these countries to follow a logical line, which is to put their
relations with Taiwan under their relations with China. It means
that [whether their] relations with China are on good or bad terms
will determine [their] relations with Taiwan. This will not only
obstruct Taiwan's bilateral relations with these countries, but it
also goes against Taiwan's attempt to persuade these non-ally
countries to take a strategy parallel to their relations with China
when they deal with Taiwan. [Ed. Note: "Ally" in the Taiwan
political context refers to a country that has full diplomatic
relations with Taiwan, such as Honduras or Swaziland, as opposed to
a country that would actually defend Taiwan in a crisis.]

"In the report "A Twenty-First-Century Agenda for the U.S.-Taiwan
Partnership" released in February, Randall Schriver and Daniel
Blumenthal urged that Washington not subsume its relations with
Taiwan under its relations with China. At the moment, however,
Taiwan [President-elect Ma Ying-jeou's incoming administration]
proposes a policy that [Taiwan's] relations with China should be in
a higher position than its diplomatic relationship with countries
such as the United States and Japan. This is not only retrograde
with the advocacy of the China policy reformists in the United
States, but it is also against Taiwan's practice in the past, which
was to parallel its policy in cross-Strait [relations] and foreign
affairs. This will cause a very serious impact on Taiwan's policy
in foreign affairs. ..."

B) "The Conflict and Cooperation in the Cross-Strait Triangle"

Soong Hseik-wen, the director of the Graduate Institute of Strategy
and International Affairs at Taiwan's National Chung Cheng
University, and Wang Jyh-perng, a student at the institute, opined
in the pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
(5/5):

"How the triangular relations among the United States, China and
Taiwan will develop after May 20 [inauguration day] is the most
attention-getting issue recently. For example, the mitigation of
the political atmosphere across the Strait might provide some
positive inducements for economic, trade and culture exchanges.
However, these [positive inducements] will not necessarily 'spill
over' to policies such as security in the Taiwan Strait, arms sales
from the United States to Taiwan, and the United States'
Asia-Pacific security. ...

"In fact, the atmosphere and expectation of 'the argument that
economic and trade exchange leads to peace' [across the Taiwan
Strait] has a competitive and cooperative relation with the United
States 'grand strategy' in Asia. This [grand strategy] has a
deep-level relationship with the [issue of] security in Asia-Pacific
resulting from the rise of China and the international balance of
power [Lit: the allocation of international power.] In light of
this, China obviously takes a 'rising' strategy which focuses on
'peace' and 'gradual advance.' For example, the 'China
Modernization Report 2008' released this January [by the Chinese
Academy of Sciences] came up with a strategy [called] 'a dove of
peace,' whose purpose is to promote its diplomatic strategy of a
peaceful rise. However, [China] still actively develops efficient
capabilities to deny access to the region.

"According to a Chinese military report, during the Siew-Hu meeting
at the Boao Forum [the meeting between Taiwan's Vice President-elect
Vincent Siew and Chinese President Hu Jintao], Hu also reviewed the
South Sea Fleet of China's navy and urged them 'to focus on
preparation for military conflict and to reinforce the comprehensive
establishment [of China's] military forces.' Regarding the United

States' [decision to] send two aircraft carrier battle groups to
patrol the Taiwan Strait region, whether [the U.S.] is worried about
internal developments in Taiwan or taking preventive measures to be
alert of abnormal behavior by China or moves from Beijing because of
the impact of the Tibet issue on the Olympic Games, neither the
United States nor China has explicitly revealed the true reason.
..."

YOUNG

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