Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan's Cross-Strait Policy

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: Major Chinese-language Taiwan dailies continued
to give their full attention December 1 to covering the
campaigns and mud-slinging for Saturday's 3-in-1 elections.
All newspapers reported in their front or second pages
President Chen Shui-bian's campaign remarks in I-lan city
Wednesday that the government will tighten its cross-Strait
policy in the event of a sweeping victory by the opposition
pan-Blue camp.

2. Editorials of the pro-independence "Liberty Times" and
centrist "China Times" both commented on President Chen's
remarks on the government's cross-Strait policy. The
"Liberty Times" editorial compared Chen's remarks with the
Executive Yuan's announcement a few days ago that it would
loosen the government's cross-Strait policy, saying that the
DPP administration needs to have a coherent and more
restrictive cross-Strait policy. The "China Times"
editorial, however, criticized the DPP administration as
seeing nothing but elections, adding that Chen's decision
will only isolate Taiwan and make it even more marginalized
in the region. End summary.

A) "DPP Will Lose More Votes If It Unduly Loosens Its Cross-
Strait Policy"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 600,000]
editorialized (12/1):

". [T]he fact that the Presidential Office and the Executive
Yuan each spoke of a different version of the government's
cross-Strait policy fully reflected the DPP's confusion and
anxiety over the outcomes of the [3-in-1] elections. Even
though the final results of the elections will not unveil
until [the end of] the polling day, the various opinion
surveys conducted recently by the private sector showed that
it is a generally acknowledged fact that the DPP is in a
very unfavorable position in terms of election campaigns. .

"Over the past five years since DPP came into power, what
people have criticized most is Taiwan's loss of its economic
vitality, which is a result of the government's opening of
its cross-Strait policy. In other words, the opening up of
Taiwan's cross-Strait economic and trade policy is the
`cause' rather than the `result' of Taiwan's economic
downfall following the transition of political parties [five
years ago]. As a result, if Taiwan wants to restore its
economic edge, the only way it can do is to hold on to its
prior `no haste, be patient' policy because the `effective
opening' policy is nothing but a dead end. .

"This newspaper has more than once emphasized the
shortcomings of an open cross-Strait economic policy and the
major impact of such a policy on Taiwan's economy and
sovereignty awareness. . When voters choose to cast their
votes for a pro-Taiwan nativism political party, it means
they support the DPP for its sticking to the pro-Taiwan
ideals and values. The DPP must never back out from its
cross-Strait policy, nor should it regard Taiwan as the
stakes of an election gamble. ."

B) "[The Government] Wants to `Tighten' Cross-Strait
Relations after the Elections?"

The centrist, pro-status quo "China Times" [circulation:
400,000] commented in an editorial (12/1):

"Yes, Taiwan sees nothing but the elections at this moment;
it cares only if somebody will become a lame duck and if
someone will step down after the elections, as if nothing
else in the whole world matters more than these. . While
Taiwan is fighting like Kilkenny cats during the election
campaigns, a large-scale event, the East Asian summit, is
about to be held. Likewise, the longest bridge in the whole
Asia and the biggest deep-water harbor are about to be
inaugurated. When all the East Asian nations are feeling
the anxiety about the whole new changes in the competitive
domain of influence [in the region], Taiwan alone is utterly
unaware of the situation going on in the outside world and
the accelerating marginalization of its own, tangible or
intangible. .

". If President Chen insists on tightening the cross-Strait
policy in the wake of the [3-in-1] elections, we really have
nothing to say. While East Asia is undergoing a stage of
the biggest changes of the century, Taiwan chooses to lock
itself up and isolate itself, absolutely unaware of itself
being marginalized. What it is left now is nothing but
those eloquent campaigning rhetoric on the trucks!"


© Scoop Media

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