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Cablegate: Taiwan Tifa Demarche Delivered

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS TAIPEI 003768

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/RSP/TC, EB/TPP/BTA, STATE PASS AIT/W AND
USTR, USTR FOR KI AND FREEMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD TW
SUBJECT: TAIWAN TIFA DEMARCHE DELIVERED

REF: STATE 248966

1. (SBU) Summary: AIT/T delivered reftel demarche on TIFA
talks to Ministry of Economic Affairs Vice Minister Chen on
November 24. Chen was aware of the content of the demarche
and understood the need to avoid characterizing the talks as
discussions on an FTA. Chen recognized the U.S. desire for
deliverables during the talks and noted that Taiwan would
like to be shifted from the Priority Watch List to the Watch
List under Special 301. MOEA issued a press release
announcing the talks late on November 23 and made no mention
of FTA in its release. One news article included FTA in its
reporting on the release while the rest of the newspapers
echoed the contents of the release. End summary,

2. (SBU) AIT/T Econ Chief delivered reftel demarche to
Ministry of Economic Affairs Vice Minister Steve Chen
November 24. Based on previous discussions with AIT/T and
reports from TECRO Washington, Chen was fully aware of the
upcoming TIFA talks and was anticipating making an
announcement during the week of November 22-26. Given USTR's
decision not to issue an announcement before the November
29-30 meeting, Chen volunteered that he would hold off as
long as possible before making any announcement in Taipei.

3. Chen said that he understood U.S. concerns that the
meeting not be characterized as an FTA meeting. He said that
he would tell all of his colleagues not to make any mention
of FTA in conjunction with the TIFA talks. Regarding the
need for Taiwan to come prepared with deliverables, Chen said
that he understood U.S. concerns on resolving outstanding
issues and also noted that Taiwan would like to gain some
deliverables. In particular, he cited a desire for Taiwan to
move from the Priority Watch List under Special 301 to the
Watch List.

4. (SBU) Due to concerns that the news would leak out
shortly, late in the day on Wednesday, November 24, MOEA
issued a press release announcing that trade talks were
resuming under the 1994 Trade and Investment Framework
Agreement and would be held in Washington November 29-30.
The statement made no mention of FTA. Chinese and English
language newspapers carried the press release on November 25.
All but one of the reporting articles did so with no mention
of FTA. One newspaper, the Chinese language Liberty Times
referred to TIFA as an important stepping stone to FTA talks.
We believe that the FTA reference was made by the newspaper
and not by Taiwan officials.
PAAL

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