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

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1492/01 2950852
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210852Z OCT 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0155
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8662
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0111

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001492

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, U.S. FINANCIAL
CRISIS

1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused their
October 21 news coverage on a Taiwan Indigenous Defense Fighter
(IDF) and its two pilots that went missing near Penghu [Pescadores]
Monday on a training mission; and on the continuing probe into
former first family's money laundering case. The pro-independence
"Liberty Times" ran a banner headline on page two reading "Ma
[Ying-jeou] to Announce Tuesday That There Will Be No War across the
Taiwan Strait in the Next Four Years."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a "Liberty Times"
editorial quoted a recent study report by U.S. Congressional
Research Service specialist Kerry Dumbaugh and concluded that Ma's
state policy is "doing harm to Taiwan but showing favor to China"
and is a "premeditated move to walk towards ultimate unification
[with China]." An op-ed piece in the pro-unification "United Daily
News," on the other hand, discussed the U.S. financial crisis and
said that now is the best time to do an overall review of the U.S.
laissez-faire approach, which has dominated the globe for the past
three decades. End summary.

3. U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

"'Mr.' Ma's State Policy Is Doing Harm to Taiwan but Showing Favor
to China"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 700,000]
editorialized (10/21):

"Kerry Dumbaugh, a U.S. Congressional Research Service specialist in
cross-Strait issues, said in a study recently that 'some observers
are concerned that the efforts by the KMT Administration led by Ma
Ying-jeou to unite with Beijing rapidly in an attempt to seek
economic advancement and address pressure from Taiwan's business
circles will likely damage the regional interests of the United
States." The study directly pointed out the warning and worries of
the political arena in Washington with regard to whether there is a
lack of balance in the triangular relationship among Taipei,
Washington and Beijing, and it also attributed the reasons and
motives behind the Ma Administration's move to unite rapidly with
China to 'seeking economic advancement.' Yet, more and more signals
showed that there is something more behind such an excuse. Deep
down in his heart, what 'Mr.' Ma really wants to establish is his
role in the history, or his status in 'Chinese history.' ... [Ed.
Note: The use of "Mr." Ma in quotation marks satirizes President
Ma's remark that when the Chen Yunlin, Chairman of China's
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), visits
Taiwan, the latter is welcome to call him "Mr." Ma (as opposed to
President Ma).]

"Prior to the [March] presidential elections, quite a few [Taiwan]
voters had hoped that [Taiwan's] economy would improve and that [Ma]
would probably not do anything to sell out Taiwan. To everyone's
surprise, however, Ma has been in office for five months and
Taiwan's economy is plunging down even deeper, and the island's
sovereignty and security are tottering as well. Given such moves
that do harm to Taiwan while showing favor to China, a result akin
to lying to the voters, could it be possible that [the efforts] to
'unite with Beijing rapidly,' as cited by Dumbaugh, are not only a
means but also an end [for Ma]? Is this a premeditated way to move
towards 'ultimate unification' [with China] step by step? Since
this is a matter of great significance, 'Mr.' Ma needs to offer [us]
an explanation."

4. U.S. Financial Crisis

"Crisis of the U.S.-Dictated Pattern"

Chu Wan-wen, research fellow at the Sun Yat-sen Institute for Social
Sciences and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, opined in the
pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000] (10/21):

"... In the meantime, 'de-regulation' has gradually become a trend
since the beginning of the 1980s under the prevailing laissez-faire
doctrine. The financial industry in the United States, with its
bridles removed, started to expand rapidly, which, as described by
George Soros, had initiated this round of financial bubbles that has
lasted for over thirty years. ... The financial business has thus
become the most important, most advanced, and most internationally
competitive industry for the United States. The U.S. government was
also very generous with employing political power, including
unilateral pressure and regulations of the World Trade Organization,
to clear the way for the industry, forcing other countries to lift
restrictions on their financial markets. ...

"When it comes to political developments parallel [to the financial
opening], on the one hand [we saw] that the U.S.'s status as a
global hegemony has reached its peak, while on the other hand its
governance capability is moving downhill. In the wake of the Cold
CRISIS

War, the United States had become a sole superpower, whose power
lacked counterbalance; it constantly did what pleased in handling
international affairs, while its capability in governing domestic
affairs was sliding significantly -- and the result is shown clearly
in the recent financial crisis. ... While a crisis can also be a
turning point, the U.S.'s laissez-faire pattern that has dominated
the globe for the past three decades was not the factor that made
the United States a superpower; instead, it was the United States'
superpower status that forced the world to follow such a pattern.
The financial crisis this time demonstrates that the U.S.'s
leadership position has wavered, and that now is the best time to
conduct an overall review of this model."

YOUNG

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