Cablegate: Congressman Kennedy Urges Ly Chairman Wang Jin-Pyng
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS TAIPEI 002554
DEPT FOR EAP/TC, H-LMO Peter Su
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO AIT/W
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP PGOV PINS PREL MASS ETRD CH TW
SUBJECT: Congressman Kennedy Urges LY Chairman Wang Jin-pyng
to Pass Special Military Budget
1. (SBU) Summary: Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-MN) met with
Taiwanese Legislative Yuan Chairman Wang Jin-pyng on June 4,
2005. Wang expressed his hopes for a U.S.-Taiwan free trade
agreement (FTA) and asked the Congressman for his support.
Congressman Kennedy, in turn, raised concerns over the
Special Defense Procurement Budget, stating that Taiwan
needs to move forward on this before the Congress would
consider support for an FTA. Wang cited legislative
elections last year as a reason for the delay and promised
to do all he could to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
2. (SBU) After an initial exchange of pleasantries, Wang
emphasized the importance of trade relations between the
U.S. and Taiwan and his hopes for a bilateral FTA in the
near future. He underlined Taiwan's commitment to this
goal, noting recent improvements in Taiwan's regulatory
environment for telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, rice
and intellectual property rights (IPR). As an example, he
mentioned how Taiwan's legislature had passed revisions to
the Copyright Law last year to meet USG demands. He asked
the Congressman for his personal support in establishing an
3. (SBU) Congressman Kennedy began by praising Taiwan for
its commitment to democracy and open markets. He applauded
Taiwan's regulatory reforms and affirmed his own support for
greater bilateral trade. He also expressed his gratitude to
Taiwan for opening its markets to U.S. beef again, stating
that this issue was of particular concern to his
constituents in Minnesota.
4. (SBU) Congressman Kennedy said that the U.S. Congress
sees the Special Defense Procurement Budget as a litmus test
for Taiwan's commitment to defend itself. Rep. Kennedy
noted that Congress is unlikely to consider support for an
FTA seriously unless Taiwan were to take responsibility for
its own defense. He noted that the funding for military
purchases had been proposed by the KMT years ago and that it
was important for Taiwan to take these measures to help
defend itself. He expressed hopes that military and trade
issues like this would not become politicized in Taiwan.
5. (SBU) Wang responded that he understood these concerns,
and he recognized the need for Taiwan to maintain military
balance across the Taiwan Strait. He explained that the
delay was partly caused by the legislative elections last
year, and he stated that this issue would come up again
later this year in county, city, and magistrate elections.
Wang noted that a number of opposition legislators openly
campaigned against the special budget and are now reluctant
to reverse their positions. He indicated that he hoped a
special session of the legislature would be held within the
next few months, but could not be certain it would take
place given opposition from within the Pan-Blue camp. He
expressed his hope for eventual resolution and promised to
do all he could to push this issue forward.
6. (SBU) Congressman Kennedy reiterated how this issue
should not become politicized. He said that he understood
the Taiwan legislators' predicament but hoped that they
would come through with "tough votes" in the end.
7. (U) Congressman Kennedy's office has cleared this