Cablegate: Media Reaction: China Threat

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: Almost all the major Chinese-language
Taipei dailies carried July 1 a Japan-based "Daily
Yomiuri" report which said the United States, citing a
possible surprise assault on Taiwan by China's special
forces as a realistic scenario, has told Japan that it
will be difficult to reduce or relocate to the Japanese
mainland any of the U.S. marine corps combat units
stationed in Okinawa. The pro-independence "Liberty
Times," Taiwan's biggest daily, ran a banner headline
on its front page that read "To prevent China from
attacking Taiwan suddenly, the United States will not
reduce its military presence in Okinawa." Both the
centrist "China Times" and the pro-independence "Taiwan
Daily" also reported on their front pages that the U.S.
troops stationed in Okinawa are capable of reaching
Taiwan in one day to defend the island should any war
break out in the Taiwan Strait.

2. Two Chinese-language newspapers continued to run
editorials on the United States' "China threat" theory.
A "Liberty Times" editorial urged Taiwan officials to
learn from their U.S. counterparts how to be concerned
about national security and how to implement effective
cross-Strait trade policies. A "China Times" editorial
discussed the true and misleading aspects of the United
States' `China threat theory", noting that the `Taiwan
issue' might be the only variable in U.S.-China
relations. End summary.

A) "Effective Governance of [Taiwan's] Cross-Strait
Economic and Trade Policies Is a Must"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation:
800,000] commented in an editorial (7/1):

". China is not an ordinary country after all. The
U.S. government has recently planned to stop any
products that may be used to enhance China's military
strength from being exported to China. .

"In contrast, Taiwan people should feel ashamed that
our businesses are investing equipment and technology
worth tens of billions of U.S. dollars each year to
help China build itself into an economic hegemony that
is capable enough to cope with the United States and
Japan. Taiwan businessmen are also helping China to
produce chips that can be used in missiles aimed at the
United States. In the meantime, our government is also
considering `proactively' and `positively' [the
possibility of] lifting the ban on local wafer plants
and IC packaging and testing factories with even more
advanced technology [thus allowing them] to move to
mainland China.

"Examples set by others may help one overcome one's
defects. Taiwan's political, economic and military
officials should learn from their U.S. counterparts
about their concerns for national security. .
Legislation of the Technology Protection Law will be
completed as soon as possible and any agricultural
exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait must
be suspended before the . legislation is done so as to
prevent China's from exercising its united front
strategy against Taiwan formers. ."

B) "The Truth and False of the United States' `China
Threat Theories'"

The centrist, pro-status quo "China Times"
[circulation: 600,000] editorialized (7/1):

". China's military threat and economic infiltration
contributed to the rise of `China Threat Theories' in
the United States. One most impressive thing is that
one famous U.S. magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, carried
in its June edition a highlighted banner-headline that
read `How Would the United States Fight China,' and it
spent pages analyzing China's military buildup [to
conclude that it] has exceeded U.S. expectations. The
report also pointed out that China would be a rivalry
that is even harder to deal with than Russia.

"Judged from the perspective of economics, the
acquisition of Unocal by The China National Offshore
Oil Corporation is not purely a business move in the
eyes of Americans who `have a fear of China.' If,
however, [one] views the facts that China's Lenovo
Group bought IBM's personal computer department at the
end of 2004, and the Haier Group plans to buy the
Maytag Company, there is no wonder that the United
States has started to have worries.

"To sum up the development of these situations,
outsiders might easily come up with the impression that
U.S.-China relations have gone through a period of
relative stability for a short time, and they are now
about to enter a new wave of dtente. As to Taiwan,
does it mean there will be some kind of new adjustments
and reinforcements in Taiwan-U.S. relations? It is
believed that more than a few people in Taiwan expect
such a possibility [of new adjustments and
reinforcements]. Expectations, however, cannot come up
against reality; one's own wishful thinking can only
bring more frustration. .

". At the end of 2004, Beijing University conducted a
consultative survey to assess the risk regarding the
future of China in 2010. Nearly 70 percent of 98
government and non-government experts said they believe
major crises might break out in China in 2010. Among
these crises, the `social crisis' (the gaps between
urban and rural areas, as well as the poor and the
rich, unemployment, problems facing farmers) would be
the most serious one. The ratio of `national defense
crisis' is unexpectedly low (less than five percent),
which shows that the Chinese elites do not consider
dealing with foreign enemies should be an urgent
matter. To some extent, they rule out the possibility
of U.S.-China military confrontations for the next few
years. The only variable, however, is the `Taiwan
issue.' In this changing environment, what kind of
`variable' Taiwan wants to become is a test of
political wisdom."


© Scoop Media

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