Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Taiwan Relations
DE RUEHIN #1116 2130710
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 310710Z JUL 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9618
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8490
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9706
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001116
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.-TAIWAN RELATIONS
Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage July 31 on the possible oil price hike in Taiwan, which
will be implemented in August; on the Executive Yuan's proposed tax
reform plan; and on the status of U.S.-Taiwan arms sales. Local
media paid close attention to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's
comments in the United States regarding the arms sales development.
The centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times" ran a banner headline on
page four reading "U.S. State Department Will Do Its Utmost to
Facilitate Arms Sales to Taiwan." In terms of editorials and
commentaries, an op-ed piece in the pro-unification "United Daily
News" discussed the current status of U.S.-Taiwan relations. The
article suggested that Taiwan modify its old thinking of following
the lead of the United States and try to find its niche in the
international community. End summary.
"Breaking away from the United States and Integrating with Asia;
Relocating Taiwan's Position in the International Community"
Chen Yu-chun, a Taiwan academic now working as a senior research
fellow at China's Tsinghua University, opined in the pro-unification
"United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000] (7/31):
"... [Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger once said that
in terms of the triangular relationship among China, the United
States, and Taiwan, the United States' national interests are
decided in Washington, not in Beijing or Taipei. However, in a
globalized era of the 21st century in which China is a rising power,
it has become increasingly important for Washington to put Beijing's
interests into consideration. This is why [President George W.]
Bush said he would offend the Chinese people if he fails to show up
at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.
"In the post-Cold War era that embraces globalization, it is an
indisputable fact that [the importance of] Taiwan's strategic
interests has declined significantly. But the Republic of China is
not a small country with zero achievement. [Instead,] it still
possesses real strength of a certain extent that it is able to
determine its own future, of which the first priority is peace,
prosperity, stability and sustainable growth and development. ...
At present, the Western world has declined while the non-Western
world is on the rise. Taiwan, as part of Asia, has never been a
member of the West. Facing its future, Taiwan has to change its old
thinking which was to always follow the lead of the United States.
Only by 'breaking away from the United States and integrating with
Asia' can Taiwan find its real interests."