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Cablegate: Taiwan Diplomats Bid Adieu to Chad

VZCZCXRO0013
RR RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #1054/01 2261812
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141812Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4222
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 1227
RUEHJL/AMEMBASSY BANJUL 0031
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0012
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1159
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0911
RUEHLG/AMEMBASSY LILONGWE 0023
RUEHMB/AMEMBASSY MBABANE 0014
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU 0444
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 1319
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0024

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NDJAMENA 001054

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

LIBREVILLE FOR SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CD TW
SUBJECT: TAIWAN DIPLOMATS BID ADIEU TO CHAD


NDJAMENA 00001054 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The timing of Chad's resumption of
diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China was
exquisitely timed to create the most humiliating situation
possible for Taiwan, according to the outgoing Taiwan
Ambassador. He speculated that Chad's decision was based on
a desire to have relations with a powerful UN Security
Council member (and one with close ties to Sudan). However,
he also believed that China had been and would continue to
support Chadian rebels. Aside from efforts by local
authorities to take possession of Taiwanese assets in an
agricultural development project in Southern Chad (resolved
by intervention from the Ministry of Agriculture), the GOC is
not impeding progress as Taiwan closes shop in Chad. Chad's
Foreign Minister told us that recognition of the PRC was
important for Chad's standing in the international community,
as well as its relations with Sudan. The French believe that
Chad's oil pipeline is a factor in China's interest in its
new relationship with Chad. END SUMMARY.

-------------------------------
TAIWAN AMBASSADOR'S POST-MORTEM
-------------------------------
2. (SBU) In what was described as a sequence of events
designed to inflict the maximum humiliation on Taiwan, the
Taiwan Ambassador was informed at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August
5 to inform him that Chad would resume relations with the
People's Republic of China. With less than an hour to spare
before a large, high-level delegation, (led by the Foreign
Minister) took off for President Deby's inauguration
ceremony, the Taiwan Ambassador urgently passed the message
to abort the trip. In order to save face, Taiwan pre-empted
the expected announcement from Chad that ties would be broken
and made the announcement itself.

3. (SBU) During a lunch August 10 with Ambassador Soong
Tzyy-Jeng, First Counselor Hu Fu Chung and Head of the
Taiwanese Medical Mission. Kuo Tako, Ambassador Soong
appeared resigned rather than bitter at the turn of events.
While obviously smarting from the humiliation that China had
visited on Taiwan, he was also hugely relieved that he had
been able to avert the diplomatic nightmare of having his
Foreign Minister arrive in Chad only to be turned away. The
60 or so pre-paid hotel rooms and the irony of having just
financed the repaving of the road in front of the
Presidential Palace were lesser issues.

4. (SBU) Ambassador Soong, scheduled to depart later that
day, appeared determined to close down shop with the maximum
dignity and minimum fuss. He noted that a small contre-temps
had taken place at Taiwan's agricultural development site,
where the Governor had attempted to take possession of
Taiwanese assets in order to "protect" (read: "seize") them.
After complaining to the Ministry of Agriculture, the assets
were released. According to Ambassador Soong, once a
complete inventory of the goods (farm equipment, supplies,
etc) had been made, it would all in fact be turned over to
the Ministry of Agriculture. The Taiwanese Medical Mission
was similarly turning over medical equipment and supplies to
the hospital that it had been assisting.

5. (SBU) Ambassador Soong reported that additional Chadian
police had been placed at the Taiwan installations, including
the residence and the chancery (all properties belonging to
the Government of Chad). Although his staff noted that this
was a mixed blessing due to the lack of discipline displayed
by the police, it also went some way in easing their anxiety
that Taiwan establishments might be seen as a target for
pillaging. Ambassador Wall offered to weigh in with the GOC
should the Taiwanese experience any difficulties.

6. (SBU) Queried as to why Chad had taken the step of
resuming ties with China, Ambassador Soong speculated that it
had done so in order to have relations with a powerful
country on the UN Security Council (UNSC). Since Chad sought
a UN force on the border, it needed support from the UNSC.
Reminded that China's other "ally," Sudan, sought to prevent
such a force, Ambassador Soong laughed that this would have
to be sorted out. But Ambassador Soong felt that Chad would
come to regret the decision. He believed that China had, and

NDJAMENA 00001054 002.2 OF 003


would continue to support Chadian rebels. In fact, according
to him, in the long run China sought to overturn the Deby
regime. Ambassador Soong was coy in naming the country
which, according to him, had exerted irresistible pressure on
Chad to resume times with China, but eventually he conceded
that the country was Senegal. While there is a widespread
popular belief that China is primarily interested in Chad's
oil resources, members of the Taiwanese delegation did not
offer this as a rationale for Chad's step. Rather, they were
curious to learn U.S. views on Chad's oil prospects and what
role China would play.

7. (SBU) Other Taiwanese enterprises in Chad (including a
newly opened hotel/restaurant built by a private investor)
and a 2006 joint venture between a Taiwan oil exploration
company and the GOC will continue on in Chad. The Taiwanese
staff anticipated that there would be greater Chinese
investment and trade with Chad ahead. They acknowledged that
there was no current bar to such trade or investment, but
explained that having diplomatic relations would greatly
facilitate the entry of commerce.

-------------------------------------
CHAD'S FOREIGN MINISTER'S PERSPECTIVE
-------------------------------------

8. (SBU) During a August 12 meeting with Ambassador Wall,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmad Allam-mi stated that the
renewed diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China
were a necessary step to improve Chad's position in the
international community and that recognition of the PRC would
provide a strong international ally which Chad could not
afford to be without. He added that the GOC felt that the
diplomatic recognition of China would also help improve
relations with Sudan, which was a close ally to the PRC.
When the Ambassador asked if the Foreign Minister felt that
renewed diplomatic ties with the PRC would result in an end
to Chinese support for Chadian rebels in Sudan, Allam-mi said
that while the PRC continued to deny any support for the
Chadian rebel movement, he would logically expect that
improved ties between Chad and China would mean an end to
military assistance from the PRC to Chad.

9. (SBU) Allam-mi also said that while it had asked the
Taiwan mission to leave Chad, the GOC still hoped to maintain
economic and cultural relations with Taiwan. Ambassador Wall
asked the Foreign Minister to ensure that the Taiwanese were
treated in a fair and just manner during their departure from
Chad. Allam-mi responded by saying that all members of the
Taiwan mission would be treated fairly as they departed the
country.

---------------
THE FRENCH VIEW
---------------

10. (SBU) French Ambassador Bercot described for the
Ambassador August 11 the results of inquiries the French
Embassy made in Beijing about the matter. According to the
what the French were told, China is ready to support a UN
resolution on an international force in Darfur, but not
without Sudan's acceptance. He said an understanding on
ending Chinese arms transfers to Chadian rebels in Sudan was
not part of the deal on recognition, since the Chinese denied
involvement in these transfers. The Chinese are expecting to
build a new embassy on land donated by the Chadian government
within months, a possibility the French Ambassador thought
was far too optimistic. He also believed that China remains
interested in connecting its oil pipeline in Sudan to the
Chad-Cameroon pipeline, giving it access to the Gulf of
Guinea.

--------------
COMMENT
-------------

11. (SBU) At no time did Ambassador Soong intimate that
there had been any "negotiation" between Chad and Taiwan.
Rather, the switch was one that he had sensed was in the

NDJAMENA 00001054 003.2 OF 003


offing and had suspected was only a matter of time. Not
wanting to leave behind a bad impression as it wraps up its
affairs, Taiwan may hold out the hope that one day the tide
will turn again in its favor.
WALL

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