Cablegate: Media Reaction: Sino-Japanese Disputes

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

Summary: The focus of Chinese-language Taipei dailies
April 19 has shifted from the weekend's intense
interest in the Sino-Japanese disputes back to the
usual topics of cross-Strait relations and local
politics. News stories about the anti-Japanese
protests in China today were mostly wire service
reports, and carried on the last few pages of
newspapers. There are a few exceptions: the pro-
independence "Liberty Times," Taiwan largest daily, ran
a banner headline on its page 5 that said: "Japan-China
relations drop to record low"; the pro-independence
"Taiwan Daily," reported on its second page the
comments by Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu
that said Taiwan should avoid getting involved in the
nationalist conflicts between China and Japan. The
only Chinese-language commentary on the disputes was a
"China Times" editorial that discussed the geographical
and economic entanglements behind the Sino-Japanese
conflicts and urged Taiwan to learn from these
developments. The limited-circulation, pro-
independence English-language "Taipei Times" editorial
called on both Japan and China to sort out their
problems quickly or the international repercussions
could be immense. The limited-circulation,
conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China
Post" said China, Korea and Japan must learn from the
latest incidents and curb nationalism at home. End

A) "The Geographical and Economic Entanglements behind
the Sino-Japanese Conflicts"

The centrist, pro-status quo "China Times"
[circulation: 600,000] observed in its editorial

". It is understood that [Japanese Foreign Minister]
Nobutaka Machimura and his Chinese counterpart Li
Zhaoxing did not shake hands with each other before
their meeting [Sunday], and the atmosphere of the
meeting was very heavy. But both sides agreed to
negotiate about the [gas drilling] issue in the East
China Sea in May and to discuss substantive issues
directly. Directly facing the problems concerning each
party is the foundation for all meetings and a right
way to resolve or manage problems. Taiwan should learn
from such developments, or it will be a waste if it
fails to learn from a lesson [when it is] itself one of
the reasons for the Sino-Japanese conflicts. Leaders
of both China and Japan will meet in Indonesia at the
end of April. Taiwan needs to pay attention to [see]
if both sides will engage in a new dialogue or if there
will be a turning point [in their relations.]"

B) "Sino-Japanese Relations in Crisis"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (4/19):

". If the anti-Japanese riots continue, will Beijing be
able to guarantee that the target of the demonstrations
will not shift and that the rallies will not get out of
control? Surely this consideration will make all
foreign businesspeople fearful. Beijing should bring a
halt to the anti-Japanese demonstrations and deal with
the issue itself, rather than relaying on popular

"Tokyo should understand the perspective and feelings
of those nations that suffered under Japanese
occupation during the war, and reconsider its decision
to revise its textbooks. Japan should follow Germany's
example and face up to the injury it inflicted during
the war, so that its people can learn from history and
develop a peaceful spirit that abhors and seeks to
avoid armed conflict. .

"If this problem is not sorted out quickly and
rationally it will become much more serious. China
will face increased domestic pressure, as well as
suspicion from the international community, while Japan
will face damage to its huge investments in China.
Both parties will suffer, and the international
repercussions could be immense."

C) "East Asia Is Europe in 1900s"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post" [circulation: 30,000] said in an editorial

". As victims of Japan's aggression, China and Korea
are entitled to demand Japan face up to history. But
the apology game has gone on too long, playing into the
hands of not only Japanese nationalists, but also their
counterparts in Korea and China.

"China, Korea and Japan must learn from the latest
incidents and curb nationalism at home. Otherwise,
East Asia threatens to become like the 19th century
Europe, where rising nationalism caused numerous
conflicts and ended up with two devastating world


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