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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan Sustainable Economic Development

VZCZCXYZ0012
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #2530/01 2080812
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270812Z JUL 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1291
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5474
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6680

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002530

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 SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
CONFERENCE, TAIWAN'S UN BID


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies continued to
focus their coverage July 27 on the Cabinet-sponsored Taiwan
Sustainable Economic Development Conference, which kicked off today;
pro-Green scholars' follow-up moves to call for President Chen
Shui-bian's resignation; Taiwan's declining consumer confidence and
decelerating economic development. The pro-status quo "China Times"
ran a front-page banner headline that read "Su Tseng-chang Resists
Pressure, Will Continue to Push for Loosening of Restrictions on
Mainland Investments." The newspaper also ran a banner headline on
page four that said "No Restrictions for Westbound [Investments],
Financial and Economic Heads Break Taboo." Next to this banner
headline, however, the newspaper also ran a news story with the
headline "Bian Will Attend Sustainable Economic Development
Conference and Reiterate Proactive Management."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the
pro-unification "United Daily News" urged the government not to turn
the Sustainable Economic Development Conference into a political
struggle session hijacked by Green stalwarts. An editorial in the
limited-circulation, pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan
News," on the other hand, discussed Taiwan's chances of joining the
United Nations. End summary.

3. Taiwan Sustainable Economic Development Conference

"Sustainable Economic Development Conference Must Not Become
Political Struggle Session Hijacked by Green Stalwarts"

The pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000]
editorialized (7/27):

"The Sustainable Economic Development Conference, which will kick
off today, must not become a political struggle session hijacked by
the deep-Green stalwarts. ... From its very beginning, the
Sustainable Economic Development Conference has never been defined
as an economic decision-making meeting, but simply as a political
ritual, and its main purpose was to serve as a transitional medium
for the power transfer between Chen Shui-bian and Su Tseng-chang.
The meeting was meant to serve as steps for Chen to extricate
himself and for Su to assume [his future position]. In other words,
the conference was supposed to help resolve Chen's 'rulership
crisis' on the one hand, creating steps for Chen to extricate
himself from the predicament he has been in since he started to lean
toward the deep-Green line following his New Year Day's address. On
the other hand, it was supposed to serve as steps for Su to ascend
by constructing a backdrop for his 'visions for 2008.' But now Chen
clings like grim death to the deep-Green line; if Chen does not dare
to walk down the steps, there is no way Su can walk up the steps.

"As a result, the Sustainable Economic Development Conference, which
was originally designed for Chen to transfer power to Su, can no
longer serve as a 'transitional' mechanism now; instead, it has all
the more underscored the conflicting lines and power impasse between
Chen and Su. ... Given such a development, the conference becomes
insignificant in terms of policy making, and it has lost its
function of power transfer. This situation dealt a heavy blow to
the DPP, and to Su in particular, because if Chen adheres to his
pledge to 'delegate some of his powers,' he can extricate himself by
means of the Sustainable Economic Development Conference. Su, on
the other hand, can use the conference to work out his plan for his
'revisionist line' and announce his visions for 2008. ... Chen has
hijacked the Sustainable Economic Development Conference, making it
collapse and incapable of resolving his rulership crisis. For Su
and Tsai Ing-wen, the collapse of the conference will not only mean
a major defeat for their personal political careers, but will also
make the DPP miss a critical opportunity for its advance and
transformation. ..."

4. Taiwan's UN Bid

"If Security Council Is Enlarged, Taiwan May Gain Ground"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News" [circulation:
20,000] noted in an editorial (7/27):

"... In our view, the boycott of Japan's entry to the Security
Council is unfortunate since having Japan on the Council would help
ease the potential flashpoints in Northeast Asia by providing a
multilateral context for dialogue between all four major powers with
direct stakes in the region. Japan's seat on the Council would be
welcome in not only giving Tokyo a proper role in global
decision-making but because its seat, along with others such as
Germany, India or African nations, should also help to check and
balance the PRC's behavior and, if indirectly, help maintain
stability across the Taiwan Strait.

"Taiwan's primary concern is naturally our next effort in September
to enter the United Nations and resolve the problem of the lack of

representation for Taiwan. ... By intensifying our efforts to
become a valuable 'contribution-maker' to the welfare of the global
community instead of a 'hindrance maker' like the authoritarian PRC,
Taiwan can gradually enhance our reputation and support in the
General Assembly and, eventually, will gain entry into the United
Nations."

YOUNG

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