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

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1495 2960941
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220941Z OCT 08 ZDK
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0159
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8664
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0113

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001495

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

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused October 22
news coverage on China's Association for Relations across the Taiwan
Strait Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing, who was attacked by some DPP
supporters in Tainan Tuesday; on a Taiwan navy S-70C anti-submarine
helicopter, which crashed near Hualien Tuesday; and on the
continuing probe into former first family's money laundering case.
In terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the
pro-independence "Liberty Times" criticized President Ma Ying-jeou's
remarks Tuesday that "there will be no war in the Taiwan Strait in
the next four years." The article said since Ma has surrendered
himself to China, the chances are certainly slim for Beijing to
launch a war to annex Taiwan. An editorial in the mass-circulation
"Apple Daily," however, said the key to peace in the Taiwan Strait
lies with the United States. "Without the United States, no matter
how Ma tilts toward China, he will face the embarrassing situation
of China using force to press Taiwan for surrender," the article
concluded. End summary.

A) "With [Taiwan] Surrendering Itself, Surely There Will Be No War
across the Taiwan Strait"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 700,000]
editorialized (10/22):

"... Given that President Ma has stripped the Republic of China or
Taiwan of its sovereignty, placed cross-Strait relations ahead of
everything else, and followed the lead of China in every decision he
made, it is not without the possibility that 'there will be no war
across the Taiwan Strait in the next four years.' Since President
Ma has surrendered himself to China, does China still need to launch
a war to annex Taiwan? Nevertheless, we must not mistakenly believe
that Taiwan and China will get along with each other on an even
footing and it will mark the beginning of permanent peace in the
Taiwan Strait. When Taiwan's sovereignty is gradually assimilated
into [that of] China, Taiwan is at most the 'Taiwan Special
Administrative Region' or 'Taiwan Autonomous Region.' Should this
be the case, Taiwan will degenerate into a helpless victim sitting
on China's chopping block; once the Taiwan people express even the
slightest discontent, the People's Liberation Army will come to
suppress and quell the uprisings in Taiwan. It will be China's
internal affairs, not a war between two countries. Could this be
what President Ma really meant when he said there will be no war in
the Taiwan Strait?"

B) "No War in the Taiwan Strait"

The mass-circulation "Apple Daily" [circulation: 520,000]
editorialized (10/22):

"... We believe that there will be no war in the Taiwan Strait in
the next four years. Given that there was no war [when Taiwan was
under the governance] of the two anti-China ex-presidents -- Lee
Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, how can there possibly be war when the
pro-China Ma [Ying-jeou is in office?] Thus the key does not lie
with the fact of whether Taiwan's president is for or against China,
but with the United States. There will be war [in the Taiwan
Strait] if the United States sells out Taiwan, whose president
happens to be pro-China, and Taiwan refuses to yield.

"Having figured out the [logic], Ma, as a hedge move, must therefore
strengthen [Taiwan's] relations with the United States in the
process of tilting toward China when mapping his national security
policy and his grand strategy. Without the United States, mo matter
how Ma tilts toward China, he will face the embarrassing situation
of China using force to press Taiwan for surrender. ..."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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