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.

250758Z Oct 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

Summary: 1. Taiwan dailies October 25 downplayed former
President Lee Teng-hui's return from the U.S. visit. The
pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" is the only local daily that
carried the report on Lee's return on its front page with
the headline "Uncle A-huei Promotes Taiwan's Democratic
System." Other Taiwan dailies focused on two local issues:
Monday's cargo train derailment Taipei City which paralyzed
railway transportation in northern Taiwan for most of the
day; and a reduction of gas prices by Taiwan's two major
suppliers of oil products, the Formosa Petroleum Corporation
and the state-run Chinese Petroleum Corporation.

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, the pro-
independence, Taiwan's largest daily, "Liberty Times"
editorialized that the comments former President Lee Teng-
hui's made in his U.S. visit really represented the Taiwan
people. The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" commented in
its editorial that KMT Vice Chairman P.K. Chiang's upcoming
China visit will protect only China's interest, but not that
of Taiwan businessmen. The editorial of the pro-
independence, English-language "Taiwan News" commented that
President Chen Shui-bian's recent visit to Latin America
would create room to escape Beijing's web of containment and
marginalization. End summary.

1. "Former President Lee Teng-hui Spoke for 23 Million
Taiwan People in the United States"

The pro-independence, Taiwan's largest daily, "Liberty
Times" [circulation: 600,000] editorialized (10/25):

". [F]ormer President Lee Teng-hui emphasized in Washington
D.C. that Taiwan is already a sovereign independent country,
and it therefore needs not declare independence. The name-
change plan and the construction of a new constitution are
necessary steps for Taiwan to move toward a normalized
country. Former President Lee analyzed that Taiwan has
currently two options from which to choose: one is to let
the international community recognize Taiwan, and the other
is to change the name and let the international community
accept it. The former obviously cannot work out. .

". Liberty, democracy, and human rights, stability,
prosperity, and peace are what 23 million Taiwan people long
for. However, before Taiwan completes the process of
normalization as a country, Taiwan people may never realize
these things, they might be destroyed by an authoritative
China. ."

2. "Pan-Blue Politicians Are Busy Traveling To Beijing.
Superficially, They Protect the Rights of Taiwan
Businessmen; Substantially, They Protect China's Interests"

The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" [circulation: 100,000]
said in its editorial (10/25):

". The KMT and the PFP make use of Taiwan's national
interests to carry out political struggles [on the island],
and they use such interests as a stepping-stone to enhance
the level of political reception they receive in China. To
be frank, their behaviors have cased severe damages to
Taiwan and its people. This is the most severe crisis
facing Taiwan at the moment. We consider, from every
perspective, that political figures such as [KMT Chairman]
Lien Chan, [PFP Chairman] James Soong, [KMT Vice Chairman]
P.K. Chiang could not rule out worries of [the Taiwan
peoples] that they will jeopardize Taiwan's overall
interests, and sell out the Taiwan people's benefits. ."

3. "`Go East' Drive has Potential Benefits"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News"
[circulation: 20,000] editorialized that (10/25):

"Combined with diplomatic efforts to squeeze Taiwan's
breathing space in international society, Beijing's
utilization of such `carrot and stick' tactics aim at the
eventual incorporation of Taiwan into her economic system to
make gradual political incorporation seen `inevitable.'

"While the `Go South' route absolutely must not be
neglected, Taiwan has greater potential room to escape
Beijing's web of containment and marginalization by going
east to Central and Latin America where she has some
traditional allies dating from the Cold War era that are now
fellow emerging democracies.

". President Chen's flurry of state visits in September to
Central America and the Caribbean have indicated the
strategic importance of this region.

". Moreover, the government should make special effort to
ensure that the arrangement is `win-win' by facilitating the
entry of Central American goods and services into the Taiwan
market, including wider cultural interaction.

". We must accelerate efforts to become a more global,
cosmopolitan and pluralistic society by broadening our
degree of openness of interaction with other societies,
including Latin America and the Middle East. ."


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