Cablegate: Media Reaction: Rice Nomination And
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 003708
DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/RSP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD -
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: RICE NOMINATION AND
WASHINGTON'S CROSS-STRAIT POLICY
A) "United States' New Diplomatic Team and Future
Changes in Cross-Strait Relations"
The centrist, pro-status quo "China Times" observed in
an editorial (11/19):
". Will President George W. Bush's policy during his
second term be favorable for Taiwan? While commenting
on Bush's nomination of Condoleezza Rice as the new
Secretary of State, many people believe that there
should not be many changes [in Bush's policy]. But an
in-depth study would show that Rice's personal traits
as a realist would prevail over her personal traits as
an idealist and the role Rice will play as the
Secretary of State will also differ from her role as
the National Security Advisor.
"It is generally believed that religious conservatism
will dictate Bush's second term. Being a devout
Christian herself, Rice also received academic training
in international politics during the Cold War era, so
she is clearly aware of the importance of strategic
reality. Given the fact that the United States already
has a lot of issues that need to be resolved, including
the Israeli-Palestinian situation, the aftermath of the
war in Iraq, and the crisis on the Korean Peninsula,
there is really no need for Washington to confront
China just for the sake of advocating democratic and
moral values. .
"When it comes to Taiwan, [it is evident that] Beijing
has put the focus of all its foreign relations on
preventing Taiwan independence. Such a development
overlaps with the United States' cross-Strait policy
for the next four years. Learning from its experience
over the past two years, the Bush administration must
make sure that its mechanism `to control the rise of
tension' [across the Taiwan Strait] will function
accordingly. As the real policy planner for
Washington's policy that `neither side of the Taiwan
Strait can unilaterally change the status quo,' Rice
will surely act very cautiously in implementing the
policy, [and] not allow the actions of one side to
provoke the other side to take action unfavorable [to
the status quo]. We must say this in a very candid
manner: in the next four years, [Washington's] pressure
will likely fall on the Taiwan side, and the pressure
will increase as Taiwan pushes for a new constitution.
B) "Bush Needs Stability in Asia"
The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
". It is generally believed that, under Rice's
leadership, the new decision-making team will reshuffle
the State Department to eliminate opposition and carry
out Bush's hawkish policies.
"At the moment, Rice should review the State
Department's China policy and handle multilateral
relations in East Asia with caution. Moreover, she
should adjust the methods employed by Powell, who has
made excessive concessions to China over the past six
months, and resume the global strategic arrangement
adopted at the beginning of Bush's first term. .
"An important goal for Bush in reshuffling his
administration would be to resolve long-standing battle
between the State Department, White House and Pentagon.
More importantly, Bush needs to redirect the US' policy
in Asia, where it seems to have lost its direction to
such an extent that it was hurting its allies in order
to make goodwill gestures to its strategic competitor.
"The main forum for the US to re-establish order in
East Asia will be on the sidelines of the APEC summit,
where Bush will have the opportunity of speaking
individually with many Asian leaders. We hope that
Bush will make the best use of this opportunity to warn
its competitor while re-emphasizing its commitments to
allies like Japan and Taiwan."
C) "Frank Talks Essential to Security in the Strait"
Liu Kuan-teh, a Taipei-based political commentator,
said in the pro-independence, English-language "Taipei
"The fact is, any speculation on whether the rotation
of people dealing in Asian affairs in the new Bush
Cabinet will bring about a huge change of policy toward
the region would be an exaggeration. From a global and
regional strategic perspective, the second Bush team
will stick with the old path and pursue an even tougher
campaign against international terrorism. When it
comes to its influence in Asia, the new team will put
North Korea on top of its priorities.
"For both policies, Washington will need Beijing to
cooperate. But where does Taiwan fit into such a
transforming international landscape? The US stated
quite clearly in its "Six Assurances" of 1982 that it
would not be a mediator between Taiwan and China, and
this policy has not changed. However, the role of the
mediator could be indirect. Since the growing
Taiwanese consciousness has met with China's closed-
door policy, Washington has no choice but to play a
more positive and constructive role in securing peace
and stability across the Strait.
"Therefore, initiating the resumption of cross-Strait
dialogue constitutes the most urgent task for Rice's
new Asian team. Since President Chen Shui-bian has
suggested the establishment of a peace and stability
framework, as well as a non-military buffer zone in the
Taiwan Strait, the Bush administration should utilize
every possible channel to encourage leaders from
Beijing to go to the negotiation table. The meeting
between Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the
APEC summit this week is the most appropriate timing
for Washington to ring the bell. .
"Only through establishing frank, candid and
institutionalized channels of communication between
Taipei and Washington can the second Bush
administration continue to uphold its commitment to the
security of Taiwan."