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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 003129

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) "Disputes between Political Parties Should Not
Surpass National Security"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" noted in an
editorial (10/7):

". Democratic countries normally protect freedom of
speech, and disputes between political parties are
normal situations often seen [in democratic countries].
But national defense should be an issue of common
language shared by all the people of the country. .
Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Richard Lawless'
speech underscored [our] American friends' thorough
observations and concerns about Taiwan's political
situation. To protect the lives and property of 23
million people and to safeguard Taiwan's independent
sovereignty, we urge opposition party leaders to go
beyond their position [that this is just] a dispute
between parties and support the special arms budget.
In this way we can demonstrate to the international
community the Taiwan people's determination to defend
the island and to show them that Taiwan is an asset
rather than a liability in the democratic world."

B) "Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Richard Lawless'
Remarks Made at an Inappropriate Occasion"

Journalist Lu Chao-lung commented in the "My Views"
column of the centrist, pro-status quo "China Times"
(10/7):

". Lawless is a Pentagon official in charge of Asia-
Pacific defense affairs; he also has the authority to
decide on issues concerning the Pacific Command. As
Lawless is well versed in the United States' military
deployment in the area, he is trying to remind Taiwan
of the importance of these arms deals. He does not
want to see Taiwan bungle and ruin the Pentagon's chess
game.

". Lawless' strongly worded statements of course
sounded very pleasant to the ears of American defense
industry businessmen. What he said was also very true
based on his duties and responsibilities.

"Some Taiwan military leaders know Lawless well and
believe he has a chance for promotion, but some others
do not think so. No matter what, there will be a
personnel reshuffle in the Pentagon after the U.S.
presidential elections. Lawless' severe remarks on
Taiwan's arms purchases have made him a big winner who
is standing in an advantageous position."

C) "An Imbalanced U.S. Policy and the Misled Taiwan
People"

Journalist Sun Yang-ming said in the conservative, pro-
unification "United Daily News" (10/7):

". American sources that know the inside story said a
balanced U.S. cross-Strait policy would be to `assist
with Taiwan's self-defense capabilities militarily on
one hand, and on the other hand, urge Taipei to engage
in a dialogue with Beijing to reduce tensions across
the Taiwan Strait.'

". Under such a concept, the arms procurements
mentioned by Lawless . merely assumes the types and
amount of weapons that Taiwan needs under a certain
circumstance to maintain a balance [across the Taiwan
Strait]. But it does not represent a political issue,
such as whether both sides of the Taiwan Strait should
resume dialogue. If people only see it from a single
perspective, they will misinterpret the U.S. policy. .

"If people inside Taiwan only take one side of the
story, believing firmly that it represents an overall
U.S. policy, and start to promote it, it might be false
and seriously misleading to the Taiwan people."

D) "Taiwan Has Strong Reasons to Hold Its Ground and
Should Work Together to Speak out in Challenge of the
International Community; the United States Which Honors
Freedom of Speech Should Not Question Whether K.M.
Koo's Advertisement Is `Political Means'"

The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" editorialized
(10/7):

". Senior Presidential Advisor K.M. Koo paid for the
advertisement out of his own pocket . doesn't such a
move of idealism and enthusiasm deserve support from
both the ruling and opposition parties in Taiwan? Just
as Government Information Office Director-General Lin
Chia-lung said, the United States is a country that
honors freedom of speech, [so] it should not `make any
associations' regarding Koo's advertisement.

". We believe that the relevant government agencies
should consider condensing the contents of Koo's
advertisement, printing it out as a position paper, and
promoting it widely to the international community, [in
order to] convey the Taiwan people's rejection of the
ignorant and outdated `one-China policy.'"

PAAL

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