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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S. And Taiwan's Un Bid

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1387 2660614
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220614Z SEP 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9987
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8608
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0058

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001387

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. AND TAIWAN'S UN BID

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave extensive
coverage September 20-22 to a well-known Taiwan food processing
company, some of whose products were found to have been tainted with
melamine from China; and to the story of a China Airlines passenger
jet that encountered turbulence on its way from Taipei to Bali,
Indonesia, on Saturday and lost altitude abruptly, resulting in
injuries to around 30 passengers. In addition, all major
Chinese-language and English-language dailies in Taiwan carried a
statement by the U.S. Mission to the UN (USUN) last Wednesday that
expressed support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in the UN
specialized agencies. The mass-circulation "Apple Daily" ran a news
story on page ten Saturday with the headline "In a Rare Move, the
United States Expresses Support for Taiwan's UN Bid; Supporting
Taiwan to Become an Observer at WHA; Presidential Office: [Taiwan's]
Pragmatic Diplomacy Has Earned Recognition." The centrist,
KMT-leaning "China Times" also ran a banner headline on page eight
Saturday reading "United States: Support Taiwan's Participation in
UN Specialized Agencies." In terms of editorials and commentaries,
an "Apple Daily" editorial said the USUN statement showed that
President Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait policy has allayed
Washington's concerns on this issue, prompting the United States'
"goodwill gesture." End summary.

"U.S.-Style Goodwill Gesture"

The mass-circulation "Apple Daily" [circulation: 520,000]
editorialized (9/20):

"The U.S. Mission to the UN issued a statement expressing strong
support for Taiwan's participation in UN specialized agencies, and
the statement particularly mentioned [Taiwan's observer status] in
the World Health Assembly. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John
Negroponte also complimented Taiwan's recent efforts in engaging in
dialogue with China. ...

"All these have clearly indicated the United States' principles:
Namely, that the United States is willing to support Taiwan's
participation in the peripheral agencies of the UN, but there are
two prerequisites: First, [these agencies] must be of a nature
which does not require statehood; and second, Taiwan must engage in
dialogue with China rather than seeking independence and resistance
[against Beijing]. Such are the sufficient conditions, though not
essential ones, for the United States to support Taiwan's
participation in the [UN] peripheral agencies. President Ma's
cross-Strait policy has freed Washington from concern, and it
therefore released its goodwill gesture. But still, Ma needs to
understand clearly that his discretion [in terms of cross-Strait
relations], of not going too far or not far enough, will help to
reassure the Taiwan people."

YOUNG

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