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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cross-Strait Relations

VZCZCXYZ0253
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0771/01 1562348
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 042348Z JUN 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9078
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8333
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9572

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000771

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 June 4
news coverage on the potential appointment of former Minister of
Finance Wang Chien-shien as the new Control Yuan President; the
personnel reshuffle at China's Taiwan Affairs Office and Association
for Relations across the Taiwan Strait; on the damage caused by
recent heavy rains to Taiwan's agriculture; and on the chaotic
situation the South Korean government is facing now. In terms of
editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the pro-independence
"Liberty Times" questioned President Ma Ying-jeou's political
credibility and said Ma's way of dealing with China will only allow
Beijing to nibble away at and erode Taiwan's sovereignty. A
separate "Liberty Times" column also slammed KMT Chairman Wu
Poh-hsiung's, saying that Wu's personal feeling that China is
unlikely to fire missiles at Taiwan is a move of self disparagement
and disarmament. An op-ed in the pro-independence, English-language
"Taipei Times," likewise, expressed concern that the Ma
administration's approach in handling cross-Strait relations will
put Taiwan's sovereignty and democracy in grave danger. End
summary.

A) "Something Wrong with President Ma's Political Credibility"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (6/4):

"... It is imaginable that Ma and his new administration's way of
dealing with China will result in the latter's easily nibbling away
at Taiwan's sovereignty, something that China has not been able to
do during the past eight years.

"Within a mere two weeks, President Ma and his new administration
have granted China access to the bargaining chip of Taiwan's
sovereignty, for which Beijing has been yearning earnestly but not
been able to obtain during the past eight years. In this vein,
Taiwan will likely fall into the dangerous situation of having its
sovereignty hollowed out over the next four years. Moreover, [KMT
Chairman] Wu Poh-hsiung's 'feeling' that Beijing is unlikely to fire
missiles at Taiwan - an anxious move to rationalize China's
deployment of missiles aimed at Taiwan - will only make China
further bent on its strategy to 'use force to facilitate unification
[with Taiwan].' We are really worried that four years from now, the
number (1,400) of China's missiles targeting Taiwan will not only
diminish but will very likely increase! ... It is not a matter of
Wu's personal 'feeling' whether or not China will remove its
missiles aimed at Taiwan, but an issue concerning President Ma's
political credibility. We believe this is not only a touchstone to
test whether Ma adheres to his pledge but also one to test whether
he is determined to 'safeguard his country.' ..."

B) "A Synonym for Capitulationism"

The "Free Talks" column in the pro-independence "Liberty Times"
[circulation: 720,000] wrote (6/4):

"... Over the past eight years under the DPP's governance, China has
used every way it can to suppress and intimidate Taiwan, but it
never dared to fire missiles at Taiwan. This was because
externally, there was an international restriction [imposed] by
countries like the United States while domestically, China was
facing internal in-fighting. Yet Wu himself regarded his 'feeling'
that China will not fire missiles as a goodwill gesture and a favor
[for Taiwan]. This is in reality a move of self disparagement and
disarmament! ...

"Turning cross-Strait [relations] into a domestic issue and turning
Taiwan into another Hong Kong are strategies to which China
continues to adhere, and this remains unchanged even after Ma has
a

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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