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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S. Presidential Election, Cross-Strait

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1524 3020711
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280711Z OCT 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0204
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8674
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0121

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001524

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. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, CROSS-STRAIT
RELATIONS

1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused October
28 news coverage on the upcoming visit to Taiwan by China's
Association for Relations across theQaiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman
Chen Yunlin and planned talks between ARATS and Taiwan's Straits
Exchange Foundation (SEF); and on Taiwan's sluggish economy. In
terms of editorials and commentaries, a column in the
mass-circulation "Apple Daily" discussed next week's U.S.
presidential election and concluded that Barack Obama will be
elected as the United States' first black president. An editorial
in the pro-independence "Liberty Times," on the other hand,
discussed the DPP's mass rally last Saturday and the upcoming
SEF-ARATS talks. The article called on the legislature quickly to
establish a mechanism to oversee any deals made between the KMT and
the Chinese Communist Party, to prevent Taiwan from being "sold
out." End summary.

2. U.S. Presidential Election

"The United States Is About to Have a New Regime"

Columnist Antonio Chiang wrote in the mass-circulation "Apple Daily"
[circulation: 500,000] (10/28):

"Following fierce campaigning for as long as two years, Barack Obama
of the Democratic Party has overcome one difficulty after another
and is now sure to win. One week from now, [he] will rewrite
history by becoming the first black president of the United States.
... After Obama becomes the host of the White House, the Democratic
Party, having acquired a majority of seats in both the Senate and
House, will be a party of comprehensive governance and full
responsibility. But the role of the U.S. government has changed
significantly in the wake of the financial crisis. Previously, the
United States was co-administered by Washington D.C. and Wall
Street, with the former in power and the latter in charge of the
money. Now that Wall Street has to look to Washington D.C. [for
help], [the new administration] is going to be a very different big
government.

"The United States' status in the international community has
suffered a rapid decline under the eight-year governance of
President George W. Bush. In the post-Bush era, the international
order has put on a look of multipolarization; the United States is
no longer a hegemon with the world as its empire, and New York's
position as the hub of world finance has been challenged. At this
moment, with a black president coming to the fore, the world is
undergoing great changes, and the United States is undergoing
drastic changes as well. God bless the United States!"

3. Cross-Strait Relations

"The Legislative Body Must Quickly Establish a Superintendence
Mechanism to Prevent Ma [Ying-jeou] and Chen [Yunlin] from Selling
out Taiwan in Chamber Meetings" [Ed.: behind closed doors]

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 700,000]
editorialized (10/28):

"... A total of 600,000 [Taiwan] people took to the streets on
October 25, roaring their rage at the 'incompetent' government and
making concrete demands regarding the actual benefits of [China's
Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait Chairman] Chen
Yunlin. But [the demonstration] obviously has failed to make the Ma
Administration straiQten its backbone and use the rally as leverage
proactively to negotiate and argue strongly [with China] in a manner
that embraces the interests of Taiwan and its people. What is the
problem here? Could it be that the [upcoming] 'Chiang-Chen meeting'
and 'Ma-Chen meeting' are meetings where those in power on both
sides [of the Strait] will collude with each other to seek peace?
Should that be the case, can [we] still trust this administration?
The legitimacy for Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan has totally
vanished, and Taiwan citizens should stand up bravely and demand
strongly that the legislative body pay special attention to the
seriousness of the KMT's and CCP's exchange of secret deals. The
legislature must also immediately establish a strict superintendence
mechanism to prevent Taiwan from being subverted or toppled."


YOUNG

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