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Cablegate: Foreign Minister Ou On Un Effort, Diplomatic

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OO RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHIN #1373/01 2621012
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181012Z SEP 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9963
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 0081
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8602
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0156
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0099
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0149
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO 0109
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9792
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0216
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 2836
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 1423
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0051
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 2243
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 6794
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1853
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0084

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 001373

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON PM PA NU GT DR CH TW
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER OU ON UN EFFORT, DIPLOMATIC
ALLIES, AND BILATERAL TIES

Classified By: AIT Director Stephen M. Young,
Reasons: 1.4 (b/d)

1. (C) Summary: Foreign Minister Ou told the Director on
September 18 that the failure of Taiwan's UN proposal the day
before was expected. Both Taiwan and the PRC made an effort
to downplay the issue, and although the PRC reaction was "a
little tough," PermRep Wang Guangya's UN statement also
indicated a willingness to work out a formula for Taiwan's
participation in WHO. Taiwan's main target is the WHA, Ou
stressed. The Director provided Ou a courtesy copy of the
U.S. statement on the UN proposal, highlighting our support
for Taiwan's observership at the WHA. According to Ou,
Beijing does not appear to be taking any actions at this time
to undermine Taiwan's diplomatic relationships. Continued
progress in cross-Strait relations might lead Beijing to
consider Taiwan's proposal for a "diplomatic truce," he
suggested. Taiwan hopes to have a higher level
representative at this year's APEC, and President Ma
Ying-jeou is considering candidates, Ou said, adding that
Taiwan will have to make a decision by the end of September.
The Director stressed that the U.S. would like to be helpful
and strongly supports Taiwan's full participation in APEC.
Ou and the Director also discussed arms sales and plans for a
groundbreaking ceremony for AIT's New Office Compound (NOC)
project. End Summary.

Taiwan's UN Proposal
--------------------

2. (C) The Director and Foreign Minister Francisco Ou
discussed Taiwan's UN initiative and its relations with
diplomatic allies in a meeting at the Foreign Ministry on
September 18. (Note: The UN General Committee (GC) on
September 17 decided there was no consensus on the proposed
supplementary item for the UNGA agenda: "Need to examine the
fundamental rights of the 23 million people of the Republic
of China (Taiwan) to participate meaningfully in the
activities of the United Nations specialized agencies.") FM
Ou said it was important that both sides made an effort this
year to downplay the issue, and Taiwan expected this result.
Our target is the WHA, Ou added.

3. (C) Ou said PRC PermRep Wang Guangya's statement was "a
little bit tough," for example, the mention of Resolution
2758. However, he also tried to show goodwill by noting
Beijing willingness to work out a formula for Taiwan's
participation in WHO, and this was positive. In its
response, Ou said, Taiwan would reiterate its right to
meaningfully participate in the activities of UN specialized
agencies.

4. (C) The Director provided FM Ou a courtesy copy of the
U.S. statement on Taiwan's UN initiative that would be
published on the USUN website, stressing that the statement
should not be treated as a public document until it was
released. The U.S. statement highlights our support for
Taiwan's quest to become a WHA observer, he pointed out. Ou
expressed appreciation and said the U.S. statement was very
encouraging. While Taiwan needs the PRC to show good
intentions on WHO, support from the U.S. and other members of
the international community is even more important, Ou
emphasized. The Foreign Minister also observed that building
cross-Strait confidence and trust will take time after nearly
60 years of confrontation. What is important is to move in
this direction, which will benefit both sides, he added.

Diplomatic Allies
-----------------

5. (C) The Director asked about the status of Taiwan's
relations with its diplomatic allies, and whether the PRC
Foreign Ministry would hold back on trying to undermine
Taiwan's diplomatic relationships. Taiwan interprets
Beijing's intentions by its actions, Ou noted. MOFA's
perception is that the PRC is not taking actions to win over
Taiwan's allies at this point. Ou acknowledged, however,
that some allies have been approaching China, including
Panama, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic. Although
Paraguay did not support the UN initiative, it still has been
working with Taiwan on cooperation projects, which
demonstrates an intention to continue relations. The new
Paraguayan government wants to use the funds being provided
by Taiwan for new projects, he added. Ou said that Nicaragua
has been very quiet up to now. Guatemala, where he served as
ambassador, is not a problem, although it does want to have
economic and commercial relations with China, which is all
right.

6. (C) If some of Taiwan's allies ask to switch recognition,
would Beijing say no, the Director asked. Ou responded that
this would depend on how well cross-Strait relations and
negotiations were going. If the dialogue between the Straits
Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations
Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) goes well, then the Chinese
will be more agreeable to Taiwan's proposal for a diplomatic
truce, Ou predicted.

APEC
----

7. (C) Ou said Taiwan is hoping to elevate the level of its
representative to the APEC informal leaders meeting, adding
that President Ma is considering candidates. Taiwan will
have to make a decision by the end of September, he noted.
At that time, Peru will send a second envoy to Taiwan to
receive the proposed representative's name. Stressing U.S.
support for Taiwan's full participation in APEC, the Director
asked Ou to keep AIT informed of developments.

Arms Sales
----------

8. (C) Ou asked about pending arms sales notifications,
observing that both Taiwan and the PRC are concerned about
the issue, although for very different reasons. The Director
explained simply that the decision on arms sales would be
made at the highest levels.

NOC Groundbreaking
------------------

9. (C) AIT hopes to hold a groundbreaking ceremony in
January at the New Office Compound (NOC) site in Neihu, the
Director noted. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin has expressed his
interest in participating in the ceremony. As the time draws
closer, the Director said, he would like to talk to Ou and
the Presidential Office about possible participation. The
ceremony will be a symbol of the lasting U.S. commitment to
Taiwan, he pointed out.

Comment
-------

10. (C) FM Ou seemed to want to make the best out of the
outcome in New York yesterday, taking heart from Wang
Guangya's comments about working out a formula for Taiwan's
participation in WHO. Ou believes international backing is
critical for Taiwan to make headway in its campaign for
increased international space, which is focused on WHO/WHA.
Therefore he particularly appreciated the expression in our
statement of support on WHO and WHA. Ou also sees the
continued improvement of cross-Strait relations as key to
ensuring PRC restraint on the diplomatic front, including
with respect to not trying to woo away Taiwan's few remaining
diplomatic allies.
YOUNG

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