Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan's Economic Prospect,
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 003859
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: TAIWAN'S ECONOMIC PROSPECT,
1. Taiwan's Economic Prospect
"Do Not Use [Reasons Like Taiwan's] Industry Outflow
and Pro-China Attitude to Harm Taiwan's Credit Rating
The pro-independence "Liberty Times" editorialized
"It is regretful that while China's political and
military threats have done serious damage to Taiwan
already, Beijing is still using means like blocking
Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization
or signing free trade agreements [with other countries]
to isolate Taiwan. Under such circumstances, some
people in Taiwan not only forget that they should first
reflect on themselves, but instead, some pro-China
people or even some government officials try to promote
policies that will strengthen exchanges with China,
thus enabling China to have more channels to hurt
Taiwan. If Taiwan wants to improve its credit rating,
it should first abandon these incorrect policies and
ideas, so that the island can restore its confidence
and strive to change Taiwan's credit rating back to
2. U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations
"U.S. Connivance with Taiwan Independence Is Dangerous"
The conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post" commented in an editorial (12/7):
"The discrepancy [between how Washington views Taiwan
and how Taiwan people look at the island] suggests
American hypocrisy and disrespect for the 1918
Wilsonian principle of self-determination.
"Denying the ROC as a sovereign state has helped
legitimize Communist China's demand of Taiwan's return
to its fold and encouraged separatists on the island to
pursue non-Chinese statehood. The two conflicting
goals promise a military showdown to break the status
quo sooner or later.
"Washington doesn't want to be dragged into a war with
China over Taiwan, but it is moving toward that
eventuality by conniving at President Chen's insistence
on more trappings of statehood.
"While officially opposed to independence referendums,
the U.S. virtually has given Chen a free hand to
provoke China and whip up separatist sentiments. In
return, Washington only wants Taiwan to pay more and
buy more advanced weaponry to beef up defense against
mainland threats, starting an arms race between `a
mosquito and an elephant.'
"Apparently, Washington's China-Taiwan policy aims only
at coping with the effect of the problem, not
eradicating the cause. As in soliciting Chinese
collaboration in the anti-terrorist enterprise, the
U.S. should have pressured Beijing to be more
accommodating to Taiwan's wishes, and Taipei, less
resistant to the `one China' principle. .
"The rising tension in the strait has been prompted by
the Chen administration's rejection of the `one China'
principle, which is also a direct challenge to
Washington's long-standing `one China' policy. But the
U.S. has also chosen to ignore it, as if defense
cooperation between the protector and the protected
could be built on policy contradictions.
"And all Washington has done to check Chen's separatist
moves is holding him accountable by reciting in public
his `five-no' pledge of no independence plebiscite
enshrined in his 2000 and 2004 inauguration addresses.
But the Chen pledge only amounts to `no change in the
status quo through referendums during his tenure.' He
never promised to respect the U.S. `one China' policy
nor refrain from pushing separatist movements.
"No wonder Taiwan's independence fundamentalists view
the U.S. `one China' pronouncements as more lip service
to placate Beijing. And the U.S. language of `no
support for' Taiwan independence is misinterpreted as
`not opposed to' it. Also no wonder Beijing has become
increasingly suspicious about Washington's intentions,
and is busy making preparations `to recover the island
at all cost,' including a confrontation with the U.S.
"With reckless leaders like [President] Chen [Shui-
bian] and [former President] Lee [Teng-hui], a
confusing mentor and protector like the U.S., and a
paranoid enemy like Beijing, can Taiwan expect to be
left alone in peace?"