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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan's Political Situation, Cross-Strait

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #3098 2500734
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 070734Z SEP 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2010
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5628
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6839

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 003098

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - DAVID FIRESTEIN
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A


TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: TAIWAN'S POLITICAL SITUATION, CROSS-STRAIT
RELATIONS


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused their
coverage September 7 on President Chen Shui-bian's transit of Guam
and return to Taiwan Wednesday; former DPP Chairman Shih Ming-teh's
campaign to unseat President Chen; the KMT's plan to push
legislation of anti-graft laws; a local mail bomb case; and the
birth of Japan's new prince. The pro-unification "United Daily
News" ran a front-page banner headline that read "Bian Was Secretly
Questioned in State Affairs Fund Case." With regard to U.S. arms
procurements, the pro-status quo "China Times" ran an exclusive
story on page six with the headline "United States Has for First
Time Given Green Light to Selling Taiwan JDAM Precision-guided
Munitions." The pro-independence "Liberty Times,' Taiwan's biggest
daily, also ran a banner headline on page four that said "66 F-16s
Will All Be Assembled in Taiwan."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a "Liberty Times"
editorial urged the Legislative Yuan to quickly pass or revise
relevant sunshine laws in order to eradicate and punish corruption.
An editorial in the limited-circulation, pro-independence,
English-language "Taipei Times" discussed the possible visit to
Taiwan by China's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Chen Yunlin. The
article said "no one should harbor any illusions over the grave
potential for sabotage that underlies the liberalization of
cross-strait ties." End summary.

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3. Taiwan's Political Situation

"Pass Sunshine Laws as Early as Possible to Remove Gray Areas in
Laws"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 600,000]
editorialized (9/7):

"... Perhaps President Chen's clarification of and counterattacks at
some of the accusations against him would not be able to win
recognition of those who criticized him. They nonetheless highlight
the fact that Taiwan society is full of double standards, and that
people tend to judge things from their own political stances,
ideologies, and ethnic consciousness. There seems to be a need for
an objective system or laws that can serve as norms which are
applicable everywhere. ...

"The origin of these contentions lies in the fact that during the
process when Taiwan was transformed from an authoritarian system to
democracy, it failed to establish a sound legal system, such as
legislation of sunshine laws, to serve as a corresponding measure
for democracy. [Such a deficiency] has thus created some historical
problems, like the KMT's ill-gotten party assets, and some new
controversies, like the state affairs funds, the allowances for
government agency heads, and the assets reports for public
functionary. The loopholes in the regulations have, in particular,
resulted in serious confrontations in Taiwan's current political
situation. Thus, the best way to remove the ultimate cause of
trouble is to legislate or revise relevant sunshine laws, make them
more comprehensive and avoid any gray or ambiguous areas in the
laws, so that they can thoroughly eradicate and punish graft and
create a clean political culture and climate. ..."

4. Cross-Strait Relations

"Chen Yunlin, a Trojan Envoy"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] editorialized (9/7):

"The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has applied for permission for
China's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Chen Yunlin to attend its
'cross-strait agricultural cooperation' forum next month in Taipei.
The KMT has accused the Mainland Affairs Council of obstructing
Chen's visit, while council officials say the government has been
dealing with the issue according to the law, and that it has not
attempted to block Chen from visiting. ...

"If China is so eager to 'normalize, regularize and stabilize
cross-strait economic relations,' as Chen himself was quoted as
saying during the KMT-CCP forum, then why does Beijing not
immediately engage in dialogue with Taipei? Few oppose cross-strait
economic exchanges and trade in principle. But no one should harbor
any illusions over the grave potential for sabotage that underlines
the liberalization of cross-strait ties. ... If Chen's visit is
going to be just another cog in the Chinese machinery of
manipulation and veiled threats, then he is not welcome. If his
appearance at the KMT's forum next month is going to be just another
transparent attack on the national interest under the ruse of
'benefiting Taiwan's farmers,' then he should forget about ever
coming here - so long as this nation harbors any self-respect."

YOUNG

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