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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 003445

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, WAR ON TERRORISM


1. Secretary Powell's Beijing Trip and U.S. Policy

A) "President Chen Once Said He Would Make the United
States Happy and Give Beijing No Excuse [to Attack
Taiwan]"

The centrist, pro-status quo "China Times"
editorialized (10/31):

". Judged from whichever perspective, Secretary
Powell's remarks [in Beijing] indicate that President
Chen's previous rhetoric that he `would make the United
States feel happy and give Beijing no excuse [to attack
Taiwan]' has proved to be a mere illusion. Now, not
only does Beijing have a lot of excuses [to attack the
island], but also Washington even has scolded Taiwan
publicly in Beijing. The heavy blow dealt by Powell
shows that the position held by the Chen Shui-bian
administration that `Taiwan is an independent sovereign
state' has led Taiwan to a road that will [cause it to]
have to confront two major powers - Washington and
Beijing. In the past, the Chen Shui-bian
administration was able to move around in the somewhat
narrowed cross-Strait relationship and it would
manipulate `war flame diplomacy' by relying on the
goodwill of the Bush administration. Without such a
shield, Taiwan, which is splitting domestically, will
face a will-centered and power-centered mainland China.
This is the most perilous situation that Taiwan has
never encountered in the past five decades. ."

B) "`Powell Disturbance' Happens Because Taiwan's and
Washington's Cross-Strait Policies Both Deviate from
Reality"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" said in an
editorial (10/30):

". The `Powell disturbance' . reminded Taiwan that it
needs to accelerate its pace in moving toward normal
country [status] and terminate the `Republic of China'
that implies entanglement with China, so that Taiwan's
sovereign status can be safeguarded by the
international community. The `Powell disturbance' also
reminded Washington to adjust its cross-Strait policy
as early as possible, renouncing the `one China policy'
that is not supported in Taiwan, recognizing Taiwan's
sovereignty and respecting the will of the Taiwan
people. Only when Taiwan and the United States quickly
mend the gap between their policies and reality can
they jointly urge Beijing to face reality. ."

C) "The United States Owes Taiwan an Explanation"

The "News Watch" column of the pro-independence "Taiwan
Daily" noted (10/30):

". If Taiwan is not an `independent sovereign state,'
why does it have to buy weapons and have its own
military? If Taiwan is a province of China, why then
does the United States need to sell weapons to us?
This is a bizarre question that the United States
should offer an explanation about to Taiwan."

D) "The United States Should Accept the Fact That
Taiwan Has Grown up"

Correspondent James Wang said in the "Washington
Review" column of the pro-independence "Taiwan Daily"
(10/30):

". The United States should seriously reconsider that
the so-called `one China' policy will face more
disputes and backlashes if Washington refuses to accept
the status quo that Taiwan is already a sovereign
nation. It hurt the feelings of the Taiwan people
badly when the United States said Taiwan, which was
built following the model of U.S. democracy, is `not' a
country. Even if Washington cannot change its policy
for the time being, it should at least be more
sensitive to Taiwan's sovereign status."

E) "Strategic Thinking Needed in Handling U.S.-Taiwan
Ties"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News"
editorialized (11/1):

"After the week-long fracas over the apparent flip-
flopping statements by United States Secretary of State
Colin Powell, Taiwan faces an even more serious
challenge as we and the world await the results of the
November 2 U.S. presidential election.

"To face the new era that will come from the results of
this poll, the Democratic Progressive Party
administration of President Chen Shui-bian urgently
needs an entirely new pattern of strategic thinking
regarding the Taiwan-U.S. relationship. .

". Washington's so-called `Our One-China Policy'
remains the same, but its strategy has changed.

"Taiwan leaders now need to bear this new political
reality in mind. No matter who wins the U.S.
presidential election, more pressure will be put on
Taiwan to refrain from making moves or `trouble' that
could hurt what the current administration in
Washington perceives as U.S. national interests. This
state of affairs has arisen not because Taiwan has
weakened, but because Taiwan is more democratic and the
PRC is both undemocratic and less predictable.

"Hence, discussions on whether Bush or Kerry is
`friendlier' to Taiwan are meaningless. Any preference
for either side should thus not be founded on
exaggerated expectations of improvement in bilateral
relations, but on broader concerns, namely which
candidate offers to foster a global environment more
favorable for Taiwan to proceed on our road toward
democracy, peace and sustainability. ."

2. War on Terrorism

"Taiwan Should Watch Closely the United States' Anti-
Terrorism Strategic Deployment after the General
Elections"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" editorialized
(11/1):

". [T]he focus of the United States' global strategic
deployment will remain basically the same . in the
future. For Taiwan, this means both an opportunity and
a challenge. The challenge is that the United States
hopes China would assist in the war on terrorism, and
thus it makes it possible for China to blackmail
Washington using the Taiwan issue. The opportunity,
however, is that both [U.S. President George W.] Bush
and [Democratic presidential candidate John] Kerry
insist on continuing selling defensive weapons to
Taiwan and they support a peaceful resolution to cross-
Strait disputes with the consent of the Taiwan people.
Since the September 11 tragedy, Taiwan has been a great
supporter of the global war on terrorism led by the
United States, and this has proved [that] deep mutual
interests [exist] between Taipei and Washington. In
the wake of the U.S. general elections, Taiwan and the
United States could strengthen their communication and
contact to effectively control the tensions caused by
China's military intimidation and jointly promote the
two sides' mutual interests and democratic values in
the Asia-Pacific region."

PAAL

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