Cablegate: Media Reaction: China's Anti-Secession Law

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

1. Summary: News coverage of major Taiwan newspapers
March 17 focused on follow-up U.S. reaction and Taiwan
President Chen Shui-bian's first public statement on
China's Anti-Secession Law. All newspapers reported
that the U.S. House of Representatives was poised to
approve a resolution March 16 to express grave concerns
about the law. The centrist "China Times" reported in a
page-two story that Taiwan has urged China through the
United States to make substantial good-will moves
toward the island. The pro-unification "United Daily
News," in a page-two story headlined "This time Ah-bian
no longer plays the role of `troublemaker," pointed out
that President Chen has refrained from provoking
Beijing leaders. In addition to supporting Chen's
statement, the pro-independence "Liberty Times" ran an
editorial urging all of Taiwan's political parties to
join hands in the March 26 rally and seek international
support for Taiwan. Another pro-independence
newspaper, "Taiwan Daily," also said in its editorial
that Taiwan should export democracy rather than
agricultural products to China. The English language
"Taipei Times" editorial compared the current PRC
regime to that of Hitler's before World War II. End

A) "All of Taiwan's Political Parties Should Speak for
Taiwan Before the People"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" editorialized
[circulation: 800,000] (3/17):

". After President Chen Shui-bian made the comments
[about China's anti-secession law], the expectations of
the Taiwan people are: first, how can political parties
resolve their differences, face the common enemy [i.e.
China], stand hand-in-hand in front of the people, and
speak for Taiwan's Destiny. Taiwan's political parties
should not only stand in front of their people during
the March 26 one-million-people rally, but also stand
impartially and stay away from confrontational moods
when discussing national affairs and seeking resolution
of future difficulties. Second, under the current
situation when opinions in the international community
are friendly to Taiwan, political parties should remind
themselves that they would disappear if Taiwan no
longer existed. One should know that situations change
quickly in international relations, and opportunities
are hard to grasp. What political parties in Taiwan
should do is to try their best and seek help from the
international community. They should also deliberate
together how to become pro-active rather than passive,
how to strengthen Taiwan's strategic position, how to
obtain political and military support from the
international community in order to take advantage of
the `favorable situation' and turn it into substantial
results. ."

B) "Taiwan Should Not Be Bewildered by China's
Manipulation of the `Stick' and `Carrot' Policies"

The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" [circulation:
150,000] editorialized (3/17):

". Like President Chen Shui-bian said, Taiwan's
specialties that China needs the most and Taiwan would
be most happy to provide are not agricultural products,
but the system of democracy, comprehensive liberties,
and the protection of human rights. If some
politicians from the Pan-Blue alliance intend to foster
cross-Strait exchanges and to reduce the hostility of
both sides of the Strait, they should work on promoting
the three Taiwan specialties that President Chen
mentioned. This [would provide] the greatest
protection for Taiwan's security and welfare."

C) "Appeasement Didn't Stop Hitler"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
[circulation: 300,000] commented in an editorial

". Beijing has passed a law - the `Anti-Secession' Law
- to authorize war and legitimize future military
expansion. The law is clearly aimed at Taiwan. In the
past few years, Chinese nationalists have repeatedly
asked, `Where should the sea port for China's warships
be - in the Taiwan Strait or the Pacific Ocean?' The
question is where will China stop? Will it also lay
claim to Singapore and Penang as overseas territories
of China on the grounds that Chinese people have
historically resided there?

"Moreover, the attitude of Europe's current leaders
toward the autocratic Chinese regime is astonishingly
similar to those of Chamberlain and Daladier when
dealing with Hitler. French and German political
leaders should learn from history when dealing with the
cross-strait issue and the lifting of EU arms embargo
on China in order to avoid a repeat of the tragic
Munich Pact.

"Although Taiwan is a long way from Europe, its
passionate pursuit for democracy and freedom is not any
different from that of the EU's member states. When it
comes to the cross-Strait issue, the EU leaders'
callous disregard for a democratic nation in Asia is
tragic. We can only hope it does not lead to a greater


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