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.




E.O. 12958: N/A

A) "Have [Our] Rulers Really Tried Every Means to Stop

The centrist, pro-status quo "China Times"
editorialized (11/2):

". U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent
remarks have triggered a storm [in Taiwan], but they
have also fully proven that `arms sales alone are not
adequate to protect peace in Taiwan.' The focus of
Powell's remarks was the denial of Taiwan's independent
sovereignty and an emphasis on a `peaceful resolution'
[to cross-Strait disputes]. He even misspoke or hinted
about the `peaceful unification' of both sides of the
Taiwan Strait. Powell's talks . mainly stick to the
principle of maintaining peace across the Taiwan
Strait, and he warned the Taiwan authorities not to
transgress the boundaries. For now, what can be
certain is that no matter how Washington-Beijing-Taipei
ties will develop in the future, the United States will
not go to war with China for the Taiwan issue, and
Taiwan (no matter whether it buys those weapons [from
the United States] or not) cannot afford to resolve the
cross-Strait disputes by means of war. China's missile
threat [against the island] is a fact, but [Taiwan's]
push for and provocative movements towards Taiwan
independence is also a reality. The United States,
however, is strongly opposed to any `unilateral attempt
to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.' Under
such a situation, the only factor that Taiwan can
control is not to purposely cross the `red line.' The
[Taiwan] government, however, is trying to solicit
political support by occasionally `sneaking in' some
movement to push for Taiwan independence but at the
same time trying to engage in an arms race [with
Beijing] by spending a huge amount of money buying
weapons. Can such an attitude of making combat
readiness, engaging in an arms race and even [taking]
provocative movements help in the pursuit of peace for
Taiwan? ."

B) "A Self-ruled Chinese Non-state"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post" said in an editorial (11/2):

". Taipei's reckless push for independence, defying
repeated U.S. cautions and ignoring the basic rules of
courtesy, prompted Powell's tough talk. Some critics
have openly scolded Taipei for `biting the hand that
feeds it.'

"The U.S. has come to the realization that separatism,
if unchecked, is bound to spark a cross-strait war,
disrupting regional peace and stability and dragging
the reluctant U.S. into it.

"Washington also aims to influence Taiwan's December
legislative election, reminding voters of the risk of
supporting pro-independence candidates. When Powell
stated that Taiwan was not a sovereign state, he was
describing a historic fact. As a piece of Chinese
territory, it was never a state. .

"The Powell episode suggests Taiwan's course for the
future is limited.

"Like it or not, the U.S. message is loud and clear:
`Taiwan can continue its self-rule as long as Beijing
is not disturbed.'"


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