Cablegate: Media Reaction: National Assembly Elections And
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 002207
DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/RSP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - ROBERT
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS AND
1. Summary: Major Taiwan newspapers May 17 carried on their
front pages the report on Taiwan's failure to gain
participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer.
Taiwan`s biggest newspaper, pro-independence "Liberty Times"
ran a banner headline in the first page that read: "21
Countries Voiced Their Supports for Taiwan's Bid to
Participate in the WHA." Both pro-status quo "China Times"
and pro-unification "United Daily News" carried similar
banners on their front pages that read: "Participation in
the WHA, the Ninth Failure."
2. With regard to editorials, pro-independence "Liberty
Times" commented on Saturday's National Assembly elections
and said the lowest-ever election turnout in Taiwan
indicates that the public is not satisfied with the
dishonesty of both the ruling and opposition parties. Pro-
unification "United Daily News" proposed different
interpretations of "two sides of the Strait, one China,"
which was a consenus reached between PFP Chairman James
Soong and China's President Hu Jintao. The editorial of the
"United Daily News" also commented on "one China defined by
the Constitution" as the key to solving the current deadlock
on cross-Strait relations.
A) "Sincerely Facing Democracy, Sincerely Facing Taiwan,
Sincerely Facing the People"
An editorial of pro-independence "Liberty Times"
[circulation: 800,000] said (5/17):
". Frankly speaking, the reason for President Chen Shui-
bian's criticizing Lien Chan, James Soong and even Lee Teng-
hui and the Taiwan Solidarity Union before the election was
entirely because of political pressure. What political
pressure? That is, President Chen has violated his campaign
promises and announced that he would no longer seek
rectification of Taiwan's name and a new constitution. ."
"Especially noteworthy is the 23 percent record low turnout
of the National Assembly election. This phenomenon is not
accidental. It is because many people chose to `abstain' to
express their dissatisfaction with the ruling and opposition
parties. The so-called Bian-Soong meeting, Lien-Hu meeting
and Soong-Hu meeting, or even the possible Bian-Hu meeting,
are all very abnormal moves from the perspective of
democratic practices. This is not to totally deny the value
of communications between ruling and opposition parties or
between the two sides across the Strait, but to say that
politicians are cheating the voters when they violate their
campaign promises and deviate from their party platforms.
Under the circumstances, voters certainly have the right to
penalize them by taking active or passive measures. ."
B) "Is `Two Sides of the Strait, One China' the same as `One
China, Different Interpretations' or `Each Party Interprets
The pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation:
600,000] editorialized (5/17):
[PAS Note: This editorial was a linguistic play-on-words in
Chinese. Our translation is meant to give the flavor of the
opinion but there may be differences of opinion on the exact
translation of individual clauses.]
" .Different positions on `two sides of the Strait, one
China' may lead to different interpretations, such as: `the
status-quo across the Strait is one China,' `two sides of
the Strait are ruled separately, one China in the future,'
`two sides of the Strait share one China,' `two sides of the
Strait separate one China,' `two sides of the Strait
interpret the contents of one China separately,' `two sides
of the Strait interprets the principle of one China.' These
interpretations are logical. However, if the meaning of a
political term is too diffuse or if one cannot interpret a
political term firmly, the term is hardly practical. This
is the reason why society has different interpretations and
evaluations of the statement `two sides of the Strait, One
". PFP Chairman James Soong said `two sides of the Strait,
One China' is exactly `one China defined by the
Constitution.' This happens to be the key point. The
current deadlock is the result of the Chen administration's
denial of `one China defined by the Constitution.' If
Taiwan does not even admit `one China defined by the
Constitution,' how can China make concessions regarding `one
China with different interpretations,' and how can China's
concessions be useful?
"President Chen Shui-bian denies any statement regarding
`one China,' including `one China defined by the
Constitution.' And James Soong cannot cover this up for
Chen. Under the current situation, it is useless even if we
interpret `two sides of the Strait, one China' as `one China
with different interpretations.' And it would be a setback
if we interpret `two sides of the Strait, one China' as
`each party interprets one China (policy).'"