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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Secretary Powell's Beijing

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 003389

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: SECRETARY POWELL'S BEIJING
TRIP AND U.S. POLICY


A) "The Supporter [Who Was] Behind [Us] Unexpectedly Is
the First to Hit [Us]"

Journalist Liu Pao-chieh said in the conservative, pro-
unification "United Daily News:" (10/29):

"U.S. Secretary Powell said Thursday a `peaceful
resolution' is [the basis of] Washington's cross-Strait
policy, but so far he has not yet changed his denial of
Taiwan's sovereign status, and this is what deserves
more attention. This development should prompt the DPP
government to reconsider its cross-Strait policy that
emphasizes relying wholly on the United States [to
counter China]. .

"When considering Taiwan's relations with the United
States and Japan, the DPP always assumes that the two
countries would not want to see Taiwan fall into the
hands of China. The reason that Washington wants both
sides of the Taiwan Strait to resume a dialogue,
according to the DPP, lies in the hope of stabilizing
cross-Strait relations, and the DPP believes that
Washington will not be happy to see both sides move
toward unification. In the DPP's eyes, what the United
States has been doing is just the manipulation of a two-
handed strategy. .

"Thus, even while a superpower like the United States
is seeking rapprochement with China, Taiwan continues
to go the opposite way. Many political figures [in
Taiwan] have expressed strong hostility toward China
and thought they had U.S. support behind them. They
have failed to realize that, in fact, the United States
has changed its position [over the past four years].

"[Senior Presidential Advisor] K.M. Koo placed
advertisements in U.S. newspapers but got slashed by
the United States. Those pro-independence people
originally planned to rely on the United States as a
strong backing for fighting against China, but they did
not expect that the first one to hit [against Taiwan]
is the United States. This is political reality."

B) "[Should Taiwan] Apply to Become One of the States
of the United States?"

The "News Watch" column of the pro-independence "Taiwan
Daily" said (10/29):

"When [Secretary] Powell said Taiwan is not an
independent sovereign state, some politicians in Taiwan
got very angry and they protested. Of course, some
other politicians were as happy inside their hearts as
if they had seen the `end of Taiwan independence.' But
are things really that bad?

"Have the Americans ever looked at Taiwan as an
independent sovereign state? If we reflect on the
annual talks between Taiwan and the United States over
intellectual property rights, we see that Taiwan was
forced to give up its administrative, legislative, even
judicial rights. When did the Americans ever treat
Taiwan as an independent sovereign state? .

". In some Americans' eyes, Taiwan is of course not an
`independent sovereign' state, otherwise how could the
Taiwan Relations Act be a domestic law of the United
States? See, the U.S. military needs to protect
Taiwan! Some people in Taiwan launched a movement
intending to apply to become one of the states of the
United States. It seemed more like an act of kissing
the ass of the Americans. But just look at the United
States' influence on Taiwan: even if Taiwan is not a
state of the United States, it should at least be a
special administrative region of the United States,
like the status of Puerto Rico. ."

C) "Powell's Storm and Taiwan's Situation"

The Sun Ching-yu column said in the pro-independence
"Taiwan Daily" (10/29):

"Secretary Powell remarks could be viewed as a warning
signal for the Chen Shui-bian administration. Despite
the fact that Chen managed to stick to his bottom line
in his May 20 inaugural speech and National Day speech,
his administration still had to pay the price for
Chen's challenge of Washington's `one China' policy.
The pro-independence camp believes that Taiwan should
push all the more for the rectification of Taiwan's
name because the international community does not
recognize the Republic of China (ROC). But they have
never really paid attention to the fact that Powell was
not denying the sovereignty of the ROC but the
`independence' and `sovereignty' of Taiwan. Before
last year, the Bush administration had many times
addressed Taiwan as the `Republic of China.'

"Whether this new change in the United States' Taiwan
policy will turn from `words' into `action' is the
touchstone to see if Taiwan will really split from the
United States. ."

D) "Don't Read Too Much into Powell Statements"

Liu Kuan-teh, a political commentator based in Taipei,
said in an op-ed of the pro-independence, English-
language "Taipei Times" (10/29):

". It is true that there have been ups and owns in
relations between Washington and Taipei in the past 10
months. As Taiwan's leaders keep emphasizing Taiwan's
independence sovereignty, Beijing has doubled its
pressure on Washington.

"It is natural for the Bush administration to make an
extra effort to maintain a friendly atmosphere with its
Chinese counterpart before the general election.
Nevertheless, appeasing China should not be conducted
at the expense of Taipei's pursuit of dialogue and
normalization with Beijing.

"Perhaps this was an unfortunate break in the momentum
to press Beijing to be flexible on the resumption of
cross-Strait dialogue."

PAAL

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