Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations,
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 003793
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: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS,
1. U.S.-Taiwan Relations
"U.S. Continues Two-pronged Policy"
Associate professor Yu Pen-li of the Graduate Institute
of American Studies, Tamkang University, said in the
pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
". In the future, the new US government will face
several new diplomatic challenges, such as the
reconstruction of Iraq, the Israeli-Palestine situation
following the death of Palestinian president Yasser
Arafat and the North Korean nuclear issue. Doubtless
they would be glad to see stability in the Taiwan
Strait and the Asia-Pacific region so that they can
concentrate on these other issues.
". Following this logic, China will become its [i.e.
Washington's] most important partner when it comes to
global anti-terrorism and anti-proliferation efforts.
Based on a realistic appraisal of the international
political situation, the members of the Vulcan group
will expand cooperation with China and downplay
differences of opinion.
"In other words, if the Vulcans want to see China as a
diplomatic and strategic partner in the 21st century,
it would be impossible for them to oppose Beijing over
the question of Taiwan.
"Based on Washington's objective of strategic balance
in the Asia-Pacific region, stability in the Taiwan
Strait will be an important pillar of US security, and
Taiwan will be key in supporting this strategic
balance. From this perspective, Bush's new team will
not rashly abandon Taiwan, and the US is unwilling to
tie any other issue to its arms sales to Taiwan.
"But this support for Taiwan is not a blank check for
Taiwan to use any which way. Although Bush didn't
repeat the statements Powell made at a press conference
in Beijing while meeting with Chinese President Hu
Jintao at the APEC summit in Chile, this doesn't mean
that the Powell effect has dissipated. The US leaders'
emphasis on a consistent cross-strait policy seems to
mean that the US will continue its clear, two-pronged
policy. China should not take armed action, and Taiwan
should not declare independence.
"In other words, the most important goal of US cross-
strait policy is still to maintain the status quo, as
defined by the US.
"If Taiwan's government continues to misjudge the
international situation, and US statements lead them to
believe that the storm following Powell's statement has
blown out, it may continue to move toward independence
by, for example, holding a Taiwan independence
referendum, or amending the law to allow changing the
national emblem. This may cause the situation in the
Taiwan Strait to deteriorate and maybe even give rise
to a fourth cross-strait crisis.
"In future, it is possible that Washington will issue a
fourth communiqu with Beijing, to avert a crisis and
guarantee stability in the Taiwan Strait and in East
Asia. A fourth communiqu could clearly state that
Taiwan does not enjoy sovereignty and that the US
opposes Taiwan's independence, and even change the
tactic of `pushing for dialogue' to `pushing for
unification' in order to restrain Taiwan's actions.
This could be even more harmful to Taiwan.
"For the sake of national interest, the most urgent
task for Taiwan's government is to show restraint,
strive for cross-strait stability, rebuild mutual trust
between Taiwan and the US and put the US-Taiwan
relationship back on track. This is the only way that
the nation can continue to exist and develop."
2. Ukraine Elections
"Is Taiwan More Like the United States or Ukraine?"
Deputy Editor-in-Chief Kuo Chen-lung noted in the
centrist, pro-status quo "China Times" (11/30):
"Taiwan's democratic development, though characterized
by its local color, is not really unique. Other
countries' development models can often be used for
comparison, and recently, the development models of the
United States and of Ukraine are most frequently
referred to. .
"[U.S.] President George W. Bush did not win his re-
election by adopting a middle-of-the-road route but by
locating those Christian voters who have rigid
ideology. In other words, the neo-conservatism that
prevailed in Bush's first term did not dissipate or
alter because of the unprecedented close [presidential]
elections. Rather, the conservative trend will be even
more reinforced during Bush's second term because Bush
has identified those fundamentalist voters as his
`basic supporters.' Judged from this perspective,
Taiwan's DPP is more like the current Republicans. .
"But in the eyes of the Taiwan people, what's more
stirring is to look at the election dispute in Ukraine.
"People cannot help but wonder what would have happened
if some of the key political interactions in Ukraine
had taken place in Taiwan?"
"First, [in Ukraine,] the opposition congressmen met by
themselves and determined that the results of the
presidential election were invalid. This move is a
perfect demonstration of public opinion and Congress
happens to be the institution that has absolute
authority to do so when there is contention concerning
the presidency of a nation. What if the Pan-Blue camp,
which held a majority of seats in the Legislative Yuan,
called for an extraordinary session on March 20 and
passed a resolution that nullified the president
"Second, Ukraine's defense minister issued a statement
saying he did not mobilize any troops and he did not
intend to upgrade the alert level of the country.
People saw such a move as [signifying that] the Ukraine
military was holding a neutral position . and knew that
the military would not step in even if there were a
riot. What would have happened if the then Taiwan
Defense Minister Tang Yiau-ming had not claimed he was
sick and stayed in the hospital and had instead spoken
in public that the military will act according to the
constitution and would stay neutral before the
presidential election result is ascertained?
"Third, even though Ukraine's central election
commission announced the ballot-counting results, the
opposition faction demanded straight away that the
country's supreme court stop the central election
commission from making a formal announcement about the
president-elect, and the supreme court immediately
agreed to review the dispute case. . What would have
happened if the Pan-Blue camp in Taiwan had filed the
lawsuit regarding the controversial presidential
election at the Grand Justices meeting instead of at
the Taiwan High Court and had demanded that the Central
Election Commission refrain from announcing [Chen Shui-
bian] as the president-elect?"