Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations
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 003905
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
A) "An Expected Scheme: A Lie That Takes Several Years
to Finish Saying It"
An editorial in the conservative, pro-unification
"United Daily News" commented (12/8):
". [T]his constitutional storm will last through
President Chen's whole second term. The prices to be
paid within and outside the country are unpredictable.
The result is very likely that the Republic of China
will split again but the national name still cannot be
"It is clear now that this constitutional reform plan
will definitely become a swindle. President Chen has
said many lies in his four and a half year presidency.
Many of his words have been proved to be lies.
However, even though the idea of `name rectification
and a new constitution' or `constitutional reform' has
lingered for several years, now is not the end yet.
The expected expiration time for this lie can be as
late as 2008 at least. Therefore, in spite of the fact
that it will prove to be a scheme after all, President
Chen cannot be prevented from continuing to tell this
lie and finishing this well-known scheme in 2008."
B) "The United States Must Not Deprive Taiwan People's
Rights to Conduct a Referendum on `Taiwan
The conservative, pro-unification "United Daily News"
". The current situation goes like this: every time
Washington reminds President Chen Shui-bian to stick to
his `four No's' pledge, Chen will reply that [his
pledge] `remains unchanged and will not be changed
during his term of office.' But after a while, Chen
will turn his head and start to throw out various
issues like `to change Taiwan's national emblem,' `to
break the bird-cage-like referendum law,' `to institute
Taiwan's first new constitution,' and `don't think that
I dare not hold a referendum on Taiwan independence.'
His moves, as a result, has forced the United States to
remind him again of the `four No's' pledge. Such a
cycle has repeated itself more than ten times over the
past few years.
"Such a cycle shows that the United States' attempt to
curb Taiwan independence simply by restraining
President Chen is doomed to fail. For Chen, he can
continue pledging the `four No's' policy while at the
same time manipulating the Taiwan independence issue.
All he needs to do is just repeat his `four No's'
pledge to the United States again and again. In the
end, the only effect that will be achieved from
Washington's disallowing Chen to hold a `referendum on
Taiwan independence' will be to save Chen the trouble
of having to face the test of Taiwan's public opinion
directly, while he can continue manipulating his route
to step on the edge of Taiwan independence. In other
words, the United States' move to deprive the Taiwan
people's right to conduct a referendum on Taiwan
independence will not only fail to restrain Chen from
manipulating [the] Taiwan independence [issue], but the
move itself will also become a political rampart to
provide shelter for Chen to manipulate Taiwan
"Now Taiwan's democracy has developed to a stage that
the most critical and the last issue about its
democracy and constitutional rule is whether it wants
to declare Taiwan independence and establish a new
country. Washington thought it could curb the Taiwan
independence [movement] by restraining Chen, but in the
end, it turns out that the democratic constitutional
rule of the Republic of China has been kidnapped by the
ever-changing [manipulation] of the Taiwan independence
[issue]. Actually all the United States has to do is
to decide what position it will take and what it will
do once Taiwan declares independence, and it can leave
everything to the Taiwan people to decide via a
democratic and constitutional procedure. Instead, the
situation nowadays is that the United States has become
a political rampart for those who manipulate the Taiwan
independence [issue], and the Republic of China has
lost its normal constitutional rule and real democracy!
"The United States has failed to stop President Chen
from continuing to manipulate the Taiwan independence
[issue], and it has deprived the Taiwan people's rights
to say no to being manipulated by Chen and the Taiwan
independence [issue]. Washington thought once it puts
Chen under control, it could control Taiwan
independence, too. But such a misjudgment has taken
away the rights of 23 million Taiwan people to
seriously face the Taiwan independence issue and
jointly make a democratic public decision on the issue.
The current situation shows that not only has the
United States failed to control Chen, but it has also
become the protector of Chen and Taiwan independence.
Not only so, [the United States] has also made all the
Taiwan people, the constitution of the Republic of
China, and Taiwan's democracy hostages kidnapped by
Chen and Taiwan independence. Is this the ending that
the United States has hoped and arranged for Taiwan?"
C) "Only by Insisting on Democracy and Self-
Determination Can Taiwan's Sovereignty Be Secured"
The pro-independence "Liberty Times" commented in an
". Honestly speaking, it is completely Taiwan's
domestic affair for the Taiwan people to act in
accordance with a democratic procedure to institute a
new constitution, establish a country based on their
ideals, and select a name for their country that they
can identify with. These moves are also in accordance
with the principle of self-determination stipulated in
the United Nations' Charter. Judging from the
perspective of democracy, all democratic countries
should be happy to see such developments. Take the
United States as an example: Washington's continuous
arms sales to Taiwan and its assistance in deterring
attacks from China against Taiwan are equivalent to
recognizing Taiwan as a country independent of the
People's Republic of China. It is such a paradox,
however, that the United States currently does not
recognize the R.O.C. but only recognizes Taiwan
according to the `Taiwan Relations Act.' Moreover,
because of China, the United States persuades Taiwan
not to change the name of its country or to call itself
Taiwan. China, on the other hand, threatens Taiwan not
to change the name of its country and also forbids the
use of the name R.O.C. in the international community.
Viewed from this perspective, isn't the United States a
hostage of China's hegemonic discourse? ."
D) "Taiwan Must Not Fear China's Intimidation When It
Carries out the Plan to Rectify Its Name and to
Institute a Constitution"
The pro-independence "Liberty Times" said in a separate
". Currently, the countries that are most sensitive to
Taiwan's move to rectify its name are, without doubt,
China, and the United States that is misguided by
China. China's over-bearing attitude towards Taiwan
has nothing to do with the name Taiwan uses [to call
itself] but has a lot to do with whether Taiwan
recognizes itself as a part of China. This is not an
issue that can be discussed rationally. As a
democratic nation, however, the United States should
not follow China's lead and oppress Taiwan in a way
that violates international customs and the U.N.
charter. ... [A]ccording to the Taiwan Relations Act,
Taiwan is viewed as a legal subject by the United
States. Under such circumstances, isn't the United
States, which is kidnapped by China's politics and,
thus, questions Taiwan's rectification of its name via
a democratic procedure, stuck in a predicament? ."