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Cablegate: Corrected Media Reaction: U.S. Arms Sales To

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

130226Z Sep 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 003783

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/RSP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD -
ERIC BARBORIAK
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: CORRECTED MEDIA REACTION: U.S. ARMS SALES TO
TAIWAN, WAR ON TERRORISM


1. Summary: The coverage of major Chinese-language
Taipei dailies focused September 10-12 on local
politics; a Taipei District Court ruling in which Kuro,
Taiwan's most popular peer-to-peer software company,
was found guilty of intellectual property rights (IPR)
infringement; a local feud over sperm-harvesting; and
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's landslide
victory in its general election. The pro-independence
"Liberty Times,' Taiwan's biggest daily, was the only
newspaper to run a banner headline on its page two that
read: "[Taiwan's] Minister of Foreign Affairs was
searched by U.S. security personnel [at the airport
last May] while transiting the United States." The
newspaper spent almost the whole of its page two
discussing the issue and citing a similar experience by
First Lady Wu Su-chen three years ago.

With regard to the U.S. arms procurement bill, both the
pro-unification "United Daily News" and the centrist
"China Times" reported in their inside pages September
10 that PFP Chairman James Soong asserted that there
may be NT$200 billion-worth of kickbacks in the U.S.
arms procurement bill.

2. Only one Chinese-language newspaper editorialized on
U.S. arms sales to Taiwan September 10-12. An
editorial in the pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" called
on Taiwan's Defense Ministry to use concrete evidence
to fight James Soong's false accusations. An editorial
in the limited-circulation, conservative, pro-
unification (English-language) "China Post" criticized
the U.S.-led war on terrorism, saying the global anti-
terrorist campaign has fallen far short of the noble
objectives the United States has tried to achieve. End
summary.

1. U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

"[Taiwan's] Defense Ministry Should Stand up and Fight
James Soong's False Accusation about [the Government
Taking] Kickbacks in Arms Deals"

The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" [circulation:
100,000] editorialized (9/11):

". As a matter of fact, the three arms procurements
with the United States are different from ordinary arms
deals. They are arms deals between Taiwan and the U.S.
governments, whereas the ordinary arms deal is made
between arms dealers and may easily involve problems
like commissions or kickbacks. With arms procurements
between two governments, there are no problems with
kickbacks. [PFP Chairman] James Soong is clearly aware
of this, but still, he used `kickbacks' remarks to
undermine the government's prestige and falsely
accused, without providing any evidence, [the
government of taking] kickbacks and [claimed that] the
price tags for the arms procurements are too high. The
Defense Ministry should not overlook these unreasonable
and serious accusations and should publicly clarify the
situation by offering concrete evidence in order to
fight Soong's accusations and let the Taiwan public
understand the truth. ."

2. War on Terrorism

"Taking Stock of U.S.-led War against Terrorism"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post" [circulation: 30,000] commented in an
editorial (9/12):

". The global anti-terrorist campaign has fallen far
short of the noble objective the United States has
tried to achieve. No actual combat has taken place,
but American troops have to be deployed in Afghanistan
and Iraq to keep peace and prop the two unworkable
`democratic' governments in Kabul and Baghdad. Suicide
bombings continue to bleed the Anglo-American
peacekeeping forces, and the Western world, the United
Kingdom in particular, lives under threat of terrorism,
the removal of which is the aim of the two invasions.

"What went wrong? American war strategies have never
tried to learn historical lessons. President Lyndon B.
Johnson blundered into the Vietnam War in 1964, and it
took ten years for Washington to finally extricate
itself from the Southeast Asian quagmire, after tens of
thousands of troops had been killed and wounded. The
Soviet Union had its Vietnam War in Afghanistan, which
started in 1978 and, in the end, wound up with the
Taliban in power. Former President George H. W. Bush,
was successful in driving the invading army of Saddam
Hussein out of Kuwait but his Operation Desert Storm
ended without American troops marching on Baghdad in
1989.

"President George W. Bush failed to learn from his
father. When the Gulf War started, the United States
had all the justifications to attack and topple Saddam
Hussein. The Arab world, with the exception of the
Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan, supported the American war
that aimed at liberating oil-rich Kuwait from its
jingoistic neighbor. The Iraqi army was routed, and
the American soldiers could have taken Baghdad and the
Iraqi despot without any difficulty. The older Bush
stopped the war, knowing full well the toppling of
Saddam Hussein would saddle the United States with many
more difficulties than keeping the Iraqi tyrant in
Baghdad. The conflict in Iraq now looks every bit like
the Vietnam War minus actual combat. The only comfort
is that, unlike in Vietnam, there is no North Iraq
which might try to gobble up a South Iraq.

"If the Americans leave Iraq now or in a couple of
years, maybe by 2009, the country will remain just as
strife-torn as it is now without Saddam Hussein
policing his domain with a brutal hand. But it will
still be one country."

KEEGAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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