Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cross-Strait Relations

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

120917Z May 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: Taiwan dailies continued May 12 to spend
pages reporting on PFP Chairman James Soong's speech at
Beijing's Tsinghua University Wednesday and his meeting
with Chinese President Hu Jintao today. The pro-
unification "United Daily News" printed a banner
headline on its front page that said "Soong and Hu will
discuss the new contents of the 1992 Consensus today."
The sub-headline added: "Conclusion of the meeting will
be put into words and possibly issued in the form of a
joint statement or a communiqu. PFP suggested that a
military buffer zone be set up [in the Taiwan Strait].
The Presidential Office rushed to deny the 1992
Consensus yesterday." The centrist "China Times" also
carried a news story on its front page that read:
"Soong-Hu meeting today will find a common ground for
the contents of the 1992 Consensus." The pro-
independence "Taiwan Daily" headlined in its front
page: "Soong and Hu will meet today; Bian and [former
President] Lee [Teng-hui] will strike out," and its sub-
headline said: "[Bian and Lee] will comment on the
remarks and behaviors of Lien and Soong in China via a
TV interview and an international press conference,
respectively." Taiwan's biggest daily, the pro-
independence "Liberty Times," however, reported on its
second page the Presidential Office's response to
Soong's speech and his meeting with Hu today, which
headlined: "Presidential Office: Soong has overstepped
the consensus reached between Bian and Soong."

2. Several newspapers editorialized on Lien's and
Soong's speeches in China. The "Liberty Times"
editorial said Lien and Soong have disparaged Taiwan's
most valuable assets of democracy and freedom, while
the "Taiwan Daily" gave a higher evaluation of Soong's
speech than Lien Chan's but criticized him for ruling
out the independence option for the Taiwan people. The
"United Daily News" editorial elaborated on Soong's
speech and called for a common vision for both sides of
the Taiwan Strait. A "China Times" news analysis
discussed the Soong-Hu meeting today, noting that they
can hardly find common ground because Chen has clearly
denied in public any possibility to accept the 1992
Consensus. A limited-circulation, pro-independence
English-language "Taipei Times" editorial commented on
Taiwan's China fever and the recent inter-party strife
of the DPP, asking if the United States is satisfied to
see Taiwan bleeding and China gloating. End summary.

A) "Lien and Soong Must Not Produce an Erroneous
Tragedy of Political Marriage"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation:
800,000] editorialized (5/12):

"The visit to China by [KMT Chairman] Lien Chan,
followed by that of [PFP Chairman] James Soong, has
generated a China fever in Taiwan. Such a fever has
not only undermined the anti-Communism values that have
been cultivated in Taiwan over the past few decades but
has jeopardized the foundation of Taiwan's democracy.
In other words, it seems on the surface that Lien and
Soong, who visited China in the capacity of opposition
leaders and thus have no right to sign any agreement
with China, will not be able to sell out Taiwan. But
in reality, their trips are an echo of the waves of
China's nationalism and patriotism and a move to
disparage Taiwan's most valuable system and spiritual
assets of democracy and freedom. People in the know
are deeply concerned that the power of such an approach
to strike a blow to Taiwan, which is tantamount to an
invisible way to sell out Taiwan, will be even stronger
than that of guns and missiles. ."

B) "Taiwan Consciousness Is the Sentiment to Identify
with the People and Soil of Taiwan; This Can Only Be
Secured by Independent Sovereignty"

The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" [circulation:
150,000] commented in an editorial (5/12):

"Furthermore, Taiwan independence is, of course, a
representation of Taiwan's sovereignty consciousness.
It concretely reflects the actual sovereign
jurisdiction and the universal values of civic
awareness and self-determination. Therefore, both the
ruling and opposition parties in Taiwan and the people
and government across the Strait should fully respect
the will of the 23 million people who live in Taiwan.
James Soong's statement of cross-Strait unification
came from historic sentiments and even ruled out the
option of Taiwan independence by the Taiwan people. We
strongly oppose to this and [believe] it quite
disrespectful to the right of choice entitled to the
people of Taiwan.

". We also agree that the Taiwan economic miracle and
Taiwan experience being recognized by James Soong can
become topics for cross-Strait exchanges and mutual
learning in the foreseeable future. Certainly, despite
the Lien-Hu meeting or the Soong-Hu meeting, there can
only be more rational discussions and dialogue
regarding cross-Strait political negotiations and
bilateral relations when the gap of democratic maturity
and economic conditions between the two sides is
getting closer."

C) "Both [Tsinghua] Universities [in Beijing and
Taipei] Share the Same Motto; Why Can't Both Sides of
the Taiwan Strait Share the Same Vision?"

The pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation:
600,000] editorialized (5/12):

". Maybe the two sides across the Strait do not need to
hurry in determining each other's political designation
by `free interpretations of one China.' The reason is
that whether it is called the `old Three Principles of
the People' or the `new Three Principles of the People'
at the level of ideas and ideals, as long as what is
being longed for is the same direction and goal, why
not start from the `one common vision and free
interpretations. .'"

D) "Soong [Seeks to] Build a Platform [Based on] the
1992 Consensus; But Bian and Hu Hardly Share the Same

Journalists Yang Yu-wen and Lin Hsin-hui noted in a
news analysis of the centrist, pro-status quo "China
Times" [circulation: 600,000] (5/12):

". The political coalition of President Chen and [PFP
Chairman] James Soong has created a platform for
dialogue between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and
the DPP amid the one China disputes. But this platform
is being shaken now due to the Pan-Green camp's recent
backlashes and power struggle. Chen's remarks
delivered prior to Soong's departure, which called
Soong a `messenger' and said there was a 10-point
consensus between him and Soong but no consensus
regarding the 1992 Consensus, have impaired Soong's
credibility and the justification of his role to speak
[on behalf of Chen]. Even if [Chinese President] Hu
Jintao accepts Chen's view on the 1992 Consensus as
conveyed by Soong, Chen has clearly denied in public
any possibility to accept the 1992 Consensus. Thus the
meeting between Soong and Hu is doomed to fail.

"The backlashes from the Pan-Green camp have made Chen
feel highly uncertain [of the camp's support for him],
and occasionally conflicts occur [inside the DPP] about
who will be Chen's successor and which route [the DPP]
should adopt. [Given such a situation,] even Beijing
can understand it if Chen decides suddenly to return to
his original route. Beijing did not expect to see a
new foundation built immediately for both sides of the
Taiwan Strait to resume talks. All [people] can do now
is to wait until after [this Saturday's] National
Assembly elections to see if Chen will clearly indicate
his position in his speech slated for May 20, his
inauguration anniversary. .

"Even if Soong fails to accomplish his task during this
China trip, he has after all opened a window. On the
cooperation platform built by the Pan-Blue camp and the
CCP, various exchange and opening plans across the
Taiwan Strait and relevant auxiliary measures can be
scheduled immediately. Anti-Taiwan independence,
insistence on the 1992 Consensus and pursuit for peace
are the views commonly shared by the KMT, PFP and CCP,
which, as time moves on, can be used as a strategy to
change the public view and affect the position of the
Pan-Green camp."

E) "Lack of Leadership Killing Taiwan"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
[circulation: 30,000] commented in its editorial

"Taiwan is facing a political situation that is not
without its ironies. The Chinese Nationalist Party
(KMT) has joined hands with the Chinese Communist Party
(CCP) to isolate President Chen Shui-bian while, on the
domestic front there is bloody inter-party strife.
China doesn't need to do much more to create all-out
political chaos in Taiwan. Meanwhile, resentment
against KMT Chairman Lien Chan selling out Taiwan is
building and could burst forth at any time. Is the US,
which has sought to promote cross-strait peace at any
cost, satisfied to see Taiwan bleeding and China
gloating? .

"The situation could get even more thrilling. People
First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong will meet with
Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing today. Who
knows what tricks Hu has up his sleeve, or how Soong
might respond? If Soong follows Lien's example of
rolling over for Hu, domestic divisions might deepen.
The Uriah Heep-like subservience of opposition leaders
to China can only spark resentment from those who
uphold `Taiwan consciousness.' Already there are many
on pro-independence Internet forums advocating an
acceptance of war, if that's what it takes, to realize
Taiwan's future. .

"And what will happen when Chen's position becomes
untenable? If the opposition gains an even greater
advantage in Saturday's [National Assembly] elections
this can only delight China. The real casualty of
Chen's political demise will be the nation's


© Scoop Media

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