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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan's Political Situation

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #2492/01 2060727
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250727Z JUL 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1240
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5455
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6663

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002492

SIPDIS

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

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A


TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: TAIWAN'S POLITICAL SITUATION


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave extensive
coverage July 25 to a decision by National Communications Commission
(NCC) members Monday to remain in their positions until January
2008, following the Grand Justices' ruling that the way the
commissioners are selected is unconstitutional; and to the aftermath
of the DPP party congress. News coverage also focused on Typhoon
Kaemi, which hit Taiwan early Tuesday morning; and investigations
into the Lafayette frigate kickback scandal and other corruption
cases. As the Cabinet-sponsored Sustainable Economic Development
Conference is about to kick off this coming Thursday, the
pro-independence "Liberty Times," Taiwan's biggest daily, ran a
banner headline on page two that quoted the Taiwan Advocates, a
pro-independence local think tank, saying that the opening of
cross-Strait trade and economics violates Taiwan's mainstream public
opinion.

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2. In terms of editorials, a "Liberty Times" editorial urged the DPP
to take action to restore the people's confidence in the party. An
editorial in the pro-unification "United Daily News," however,
criticized the DPP's party congress for only focusing on power
struggles but failing to note public opinion. An editorial in the
limited-circulation, conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post," on the other hand, discussed the KMT's China policy,
saying "peace is the ultimate criteria of all political
enterprises." End summary.

A) "DPP Should Take Action to Restore People's Confidence in the
Party"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 600,000]
editorialized (7/25):

"... The DPP became a ruling party within a very short period of
time, starting from the 'tangwai' (outside the party) period to the
party's establishment. Such an accomplishment did not indicate that
the DPP has super-strong capabilities, or its administrative
performance over the past six years would not have been so mediocre.
Right now, the DPP should understand that what it shoulders is the
Taiwan people's wishes for democracy, renovation, and becoming their
own masters. If the DPP can faithfully carry out its duties, the
Taiwan people will naturally allow it to continue shouldering these
responsibilities. In contrast, if the DPP fails to carry out what
the Taiwan people have entrusted it to do and fails to stick to the
line of nativism, incorruptibility, and renovation, the chances are
high that the party's approval rating will continue to slump."

B) "Look at DPP's Excitement over Power, Indifference to Public
Opinion"

The pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000]
commented in an editorial (7/25):

"... In its party congress, the DPP failed to take any action to
deal with Chen Shui-bian, who is delinquent and lacks moral ethics
and bearing, but gave a ruthless order to dissolve the party's best
combat troops. The results of the DPP party congress were quite
consistent with the performance of a defeated army. During its
party congress, the DPP failed to review its structure and nature,
and failed to make any response to the public's complaints and some
scholars' appeals; instead, party members were busy buying and
exchanging votes with each other and were busy fighting for power.
How closely has the current DPP come to resemble the KMT before the
latter was defeated in the presidential election years ago! ..."


C) "KMT's New China Policy"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] (7/25):

"... Like the U.S., Japan and the United Nations, the KMT accepts
the 'one-China' principle as prescribed in the ROC Constitution, to
ensure regional pace and stability as well as world order. To calm
the threatening Communist giant next door, the KMT stands for
Taiwan's eventual reunification with China, but unification cannot
take place before the mainland is democratized or when Taiwan's
people are against it. This is the status quo the whole world
demands. Taiwan people have a right to pursue independence from
China or integration with the mainland, and the KMT respects this
right.

"But the KMT, again like the U.S., Japan and the United Nations, is
opposed to any move that disrupts peace and stability in the Taiwan
Strait or causes disharmony and social strife at home. Peace is the
ultimate criteria of all political enterprises. The KMT will never
allow Taiwan's people to be dragged into war for independence or
other purposes. The ROC-Taiwan is a fully-fledged democracy, but
its sovereignty remains incomplete since its security and defense
are sponsored by the U.S. And Taiwan's people, though totally free,
are unjustly deprived of the universal right of self-determination.
For self-interest and the interests of neighbors and world powers,
Taiwan's people have to forebear this ongoing injustice. To do
otherwise is to invite war. Despite Beiji9ng's threatening
rhetoric, this is the only way to assure peace, improve democracy
and increase prosperity."

YOUNG

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