Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Taiwan Relations

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

A) "Don't Throw Away the Shoulder Pole Before Buying a
Lottery Ticket - Excessive Manipulation of the `Name
Change' Plan Might End up in Gaining Nothing [for

The conservative, pro-unification "United Daily News"
editorialized (12/10):

". Americans will not sit back quietly and allow
Beijing to use force [against Taiwan.] Yes, this is
true, but this fact cannot be viewed as an amulet for
Taiwan because how China and the United States will act
is not under Taiwan's control. What Taiwan can control
is how the island will choose its future. For a long
time, Taiwan's tough survival has relied on the fact
that Washington, Beijing and Taipei all recognize [the
need to] `maintain the status quo.' Because of this,
Taiwan got the United States' guarantee to safeguard
peace across the Taiwan Strait .. This `U.S. lottery
ticket' that Taiwan uses as an amulet, however, cannot
be cashed in at anytime without restrictions. Instead,
it depends on the means that Taiwan uses for making a
living - namely, [its pledge of] `not to unilaterally
change the status quo.' President Chen Shui-bian,
however, seems to have a blind spot regarding the
recognition of this situation, and his move to throw
away the `shoulder pole' . is so blatant, [it is
almost] as if he were afraid that the world would not
notice his intention. Doesn't he know that the number
on the `U.S. lottery ticket' cannot be erased or
changed, and the ticket has never been a blank check?

B) "Chen Unfairly Accuses of U.S. Interfering in
Internal Affairs"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post" said in an editorial (12/10):

". Chen attacked the U.S. government's objections to
his name-change call as an action of interfering with
Taiwan's internal affairs. This accusation is neither
reasonable nor fair. The U.S. has a responsibility to
intervene when necessary, because it has a defense
commitment to Taiwan. This commitment must not be
interpreted as merely a unilateral U.S. obligation.
Taiwan, for its part, should behave itself by
refraining from doing anything that would provoke a PRC
invasion that in turn could involve Washington in an
unnecessary war. In other words, Taiwan must not take
the advantage of America's defense protection to
antagonize Beijing by pursuing independence.

"Chen of course can voice his resistance aloud to
Washington's intervention if he believes that Taiwan is
no longer in need of American defense assistance.
Apparently, this is unlikely to be the case as long as
the political standoff with Beijing persists.

"It was irresponsible that Chen urged the people to
persevere with his name-change plan and told them that
that was the only right way for them to take. And only
by doing so will Taiwan have future.

"Taiwan's political future cannot be unilaterally
decided by its own politicians or by a referendum by
its people. It must take into account the position of
Beijing which will always claims sovereignty over
Taiwan. Taipei could ignore Beijing's opposition only
under the circumstance when it has the strength to
independently deter a military retaliation. .

"A continuous rise in nationalism on both sides of the
Taiwan Strait may finally prompt their political
leaders to take adventurous moves, to the point that
things may get out of control. When tensions escalate
to such a level, it would be too late for the U.S. to
intervene and prevent what could be a devastating war.

"This means that Washington might have to take a more
effective role in helping to contain Taiwan's surging
independence movement now and in the years ahead."


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