Cablegate: Media Reaction: Human Rights Report

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: Four major Chinese-language dailies and two
limited-circulation English-language newspapers in
Taiwan reported March 2 on the "Country Reports on
Human Rights Practices for the Year 2004," which was
released by the State Department Monday. These
reports, all straight news coverage carried on the
inside pages of the newspapers, said the State
Department report generally praises the state of human
rights in Taiwan but points out a number of problem
areas such as detainees abused by the police,
corruption by officials, violence and discrimination
toward women, child prostitution and abuse, and
narcotic use by women and children.

2. The "United Daily News," a major pro-unification
daily in Taiwan, pointed out that in the State
Department's Human Rights Report, Taiwan is categorized
under China, but was separated from Tibet, Hong Kong,
and Macao. It also noted that the Human Rights Report
commented on Taiwan's news reporting as "erratic," due
to the fact that the media often violates privacy and
operates based on government advertisements and
government loans. The centrist "China Times," however,
focused on the fact that the Human Rights Report
described in detail the pre-election shooting incident
on March 19 and its influence on Taiwan's 2004
presidential election. Three newspapers' reports were
based on the Central News Agency's story sent from
Washington. Headlines of these reports followed.

A) "U.S. State Department Human Rights Report: Many of
Taiwan's Media [Organizations] Live on Government
Loans; Quality of [Taiwan's] News Reporting Erratic;
[Human Rights] Report Also Said Taiwan Government
Denies That It Manipulates the Media" (P.10, by
Washington correspondent Vincent Chang, [conservative,
pro-unification] United Daily News [circulation:
600,000], 3/2/05)

B) "United States' 2004 Human Rights Report Describes
in Details Controversies of Taiwan's Presidential
Election" (P.11, by Washington correspondent Liu Ping,
[centrist, pro-status quo] China Times [circulation;
600,000], 3/2/05)

C) "Taiwan's Human Rights [Condition] Wins
International Approval; U.S. State Department Report
Praises Taiwan's Freedom of Speech But Points out Flaws
in Judicial [System]" (P.7, Central News Agency
Washington dispatch, [pro-independence] Taiwan Daily
[circulation: 150,000], 3/2/05)

D) "U.S. Report: Politics Interfered with Taiwan's
Media" (P.7, [tabloid] Apple Daily [circulation:
500,000], 3/2/05)

E) "Human Rights Need Work: US" (P.2, by Washington
correspondent Charles Snyder, [pro-independence,
English-language] Taipei Times [circulation: 30,000],

F) "U.S. Report Positive on Rights in Taiwan" (P.19,
Central News Agency Washington dispatch, [conservative,
pro-unification, English-language] China Post
[circulation: 30,000], 3/2/05)


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