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.




E.O. 12958: N/A

A) "China Is Missing Another Opportunity for [Cross-
Strait] Peace"

Lin Cheng-yi, research fellow at the National Chengchi
University's Institute of International Relations, said
in a commentary in the centrist, pro-status quo "China
Times" (12/30):

". On one hand, Beijing said it will deal with Taiwan
independence at all costs; it lashed out at the United
States' arms sales to Taiwan, saying the move did not
contribute to cross-Strait stability; and it continues
increasing ground-to-ground missile deployment against
Taiwan. On the other hand, however, Beijing said it
wants to pursue `four environments,' namely, a peaceful
and stable international environment, a friendly
neighboring environment, an environment for equal and
reciprocal cooperation, and an environment for
objective and friendly public opinion. In fact, it is
highly difficult for Beijing to seek to strike a
balance between these two contradictory directions.
But Taiwan is so occupied with internal struggle and
dealing with three battlefields at the same time - the
battlefield between the ruling and opposition parties
in Taiwan, between two sides of the Taiwan Strait, and
between the United States and Taiwan - that it has
provided Beijing with a wonderful opportunity to
isolate the island. Other countries such as France,
the United States, Singapore and Australia, have all
made strongly-worded statements against Taiwan and
commented on Taiwan's political development from
Beijing's perspective. .

". While seeking to make its national defense
transparent, Beijing is also releasing a signal that it
will `fight against the United States and intimidate
Taiwan.' But the more Beijing emphasizes the use of
force and the more high-handed it gets, the more it
proves that its Taiwan policy has failed to work and
that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are moving apart
from each other.

"To address China's `anti-secession law,' Taiwan's top
priority is not to split from the inside. The DPP
government must first try to coordinate between Taiwan
and the United States and between the ruling and
opposition parties inside Taiwan if it wants to reduce
its three battlefields and three rivals to one
battlefield (the cross-Strait one)."

B) "Can Washington, Beijing and Taipei Get off the
Train and Talk for a While?"

Wu Yu-shan, research fellow and director of the
preparatory office for the Institute of Political
Science, Academia Sinica, said in an op-ed piece of the
centrist, pro-status quo "China Times" (12/30):

". When the train that Taiwan is riding [i.e. Taiwan's
constitutional re-engineering] starts to crash into the
train on which Beijing is riding [i.e. China's anti-
secession law], Washington is actually sitting on
Taiwan's train. Given its powerful strength, the
United States could add great weight to Taiwan's train.
But Washington does not want to see the train crash, so
it started to warn Taiwan's train driver using harsh
words like `Taiwan's leader is trying to destroy the
status quo,' or `Taiwan is not a sovereign state.' The
question is whether Washington values Taiwan's
strategic position and if it sees Beijing as a long-
term hypothetical enemy of the United States.
Washington has natural feelings in favor of the
democratic Taiwan, so it does not want to get off the
train. As a result, for the Taiwan train driver, no
matter how harsh Washington scolds him, as long as it
still stays on the train, the Taiwan train is much
stronger than that of Beijing's and it does not fear
crashing against Beijing's train. If Beijing keeps its
senses, it will not go into a showdown with the United
States. In other words, Beijing might be the one that
steps on the brake eventually during this train crash
incident. .

". Since both sides of the Taiwan Strait have walked
away from the hypothetical framework of the `interim
agreement,' will Washington be able to re-gain control
of the [cross-Strait] situation? For Washington, the
best way to remove the ultimate cause of trouble is to
say clearly that it will not support Taiwan when the
latter declares independence and thus triggers a war
across the Taiwan Strait. In other words, the United
States is saying that it is ready to get off the train
and does not want to play games together with Taiwan
any more. This is the real meaning behind [Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State Richard] Armitage's
`landmine' remarks and his statement that [Washington]
`is not required to defend Taiwan.' Armitage's words
have created a great impact in Taiwan because if
Washington gets off the train, the whole situation will
change. But since the American officials like
[Secretary of State Colin] Powell and Armitage who
recently made statements criticizing Taiwan will get
off the train of the Bush administration first, Taiwan
is still watching and waiting [for further
development]. Nonetheless, it will still be very
dangerous no matter whether the situation turns out to
be that the United States stays on Taiwan's train which
crashes with the train of Beijing or the United States
gets off the train and leaves Taiwan's train to crash
with Beijing's. ."


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