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

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 003104

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/RSP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD -
ROBERT PALLADINO
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS


A) "The United States Should Fully Understand [Taiwan
Senior Presidential Advisor] K.M. Koo's Outspoken
Statements and Adhere to Its Commitments to the Taiwan
People - Deeply Democratized Taiwan Has Developed New
Public Opinion and National Identity; the United States
Must Not Use a Double Standard to Stop Taiwan from
Becoming a Normal Country"

The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" editorialized
(10/6):

". What is noteworthy is that in Koo's article, he
pointed out that while the United States is asking
Taiwan to spend a huge amount of money on weapons'
purchases, it is also telling the Taiwanese that they
cannot have their own country, their own constitution,
their own national anthem, or even a flag of their own
choosing. This is a strongly self-contradictory
approach. Indeed, if the Taiwanese people cannot
identify with a normal country, for whom are they
buying so such weaponry and against whom are they
fighting? Also, the same article pointed out that the
United States' adherence to the One-China policy will
only reinforce the Communist dictators' conviction that
their view of Taiwan is the correct one and that they
have the inalienable right to decide Taiwan's future.
[What the United States is doing] is to tempt China to
damage the peace across the Taiwan Strait.

"We hope [our] American friends can understand with
their hearts the outspoken statements made by an old
warrior who has dedicated decades of his life to Taiwan
and urge the U.S. government to adhere to its
commitments to democratic and free Taiwan."

B) "[Taiwan Senior Presidential Advisor] K.M. Koo's
Advertisement Displeases the United States"

Washington correspondent Norman Fu said in the
"Washington Outlook" column of the centrist, pro-status
quo "China Times" (10/6):

". The Bush administration's cross-Strait policy is
that neither side (meaning Taipei and Beijing) should
alter the status quo unilaterally. What is not spoken
but has been fully understood by everyone is that
neither can both sides of the Taiwan Strait ask the
United States to change the status quo - namely, to
alter or renounce Washington's longstanding One-China
policy.

"[Beijing's Foreign Minister] Lee Zhaoxing told
[Secretary of State Colin] Powell to his face recently
that Washington should not let its domestic law
override an international commitment. The domestic law
that Lee referred to is the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
It is surprising to see that Koo echoed Lee by pointing
out that TRA is a domestic law, under which Taiwan has
neither rights nor any obligations. Has Koo forgotten
that Taiwan, under the TRA, enjoys the right of being
provided with defensive weapons from the United States?
It is a fact that the TRA is a domestic law of the
United States. But Koo is probably the first Taiwanese
person to directly point out that the TRA is a domestic
law made in the interests of the United States. Koo's
tone was so severe that it almost sounded equal to his
displeasure with the United States' One-China policy.
This is really weird logic - given Koo's life-long
efforts dedicated to the push for Taiwan independence,
he is not supposed to betray his belief and echo the
`communists' across the Taiwan Strait!"

C) "Taiwan Must Not Overlook the United States'
Unpleasant but Honest Advice"

Washington correspondent Nadia Tsao said in the pro-
independence "Liberty Times" (10/6):

"Even though Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Richard
Lawless' remarks [at a U.S.-Taiwan defense industry
meeting in Arizona on Taiwan's arms procurements]
sounded a little bit unpleasant, they are vital to
Taiwan's problems. .

"The United States is the only country in the world
that is willing to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan.
Naturally, the price tag offered by Washington for the
weapons it wants to sell displeases Taiwan and makes it
feel that it is being controlled by others, and it is
understandable that the Legislative Yuan wants to
haggle over the price. . Lawless' speech actually did
not sound fresh to Taiwan. What's new is that it is
the Americans who are reminding us of that the matter
concerns Taiwan's [very] existence."

D) "Chen Has an Historic Opportunity"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
noted in an editorial (10/6):

"On Sunday President Chen Shui-bian announced that he
would deliver an important speech on cross-Strait
relations on Double Ten Day. .

"Chen should use this opportunity to clarify some of
the most urgent issues facing this nation.

"First, he must clearly and definitely declare Taiwan
an independent sovereign state. .
Second, Chen needs to reiterate his determination to
carry out constitutional reform. Though most people in
this country want a new constitution, some people -
including U.S. officials - still have concerns. .
Third, Chen should make it clear that cross-strait
peace must be built upon a military balance of power.
Since Taiwan doesn't want to annex Chinese territory
but Beijing has repeatedly stressed its aim of annexing
Taiwan, the people here cannot but ask the government
to strength national defense and make necessary
preparations. .

"Finally, Chen should make clear to Beijing and the
international community that according to official
Chinese statistics, as of the end of last year
Taiwanese businesspeople had invested US$72.3 billion
in China, making it that country's largest foreign
investor. .

"This being the case, there is no reason why China
should wish for Taiwan to downgrade itself into a
provincial government. Conducting commerce under the
`one China' principle would be political suicide. It
is necessary for Beijing to deal rationally with the
issue of cross-strait commerce. ."

PAAL

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