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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Campaign to Oust President Chen Shui-Bian,


DE RUEHIN #3140/01 2540930
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E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave
significant reporting and editorial coverage September 9-11 to
former DPP Chairman Shih Ming-teh's sit-in rally to oust President
Chen Shui-bian, which kicked off Saturday. All the major
Chinese-language papers carried a half-page paid announcement by KMT
Chairman Ma Ying-jeou September 9, which was entitled "Give Taiwan a
Clean Future!" and called on the DPP to stand forward and join other
political parties to launch a recall of President Chen. The
pro-status quo "China Times" ran a front-page banner headline
September 11 that read "If Bian Disregards Sit-in and Siege, Major
Strike Will Be Launched in October."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the
pro-independence "Liberty Times," Taiwan's biggest daily, urged the
public to value Taiwan's democratic achievements and not to destroy
them just to vent their personal hatred. An editorial in the
mass-circulation "Apple Daily" said both President Chen and the DPP
will distance themselves from the mounting voices in Taiwan society
and will move towards their political grave if they simplify the
anti-graft movements as confrontations between the Blue and Green
camps, between different ethnic groups, and between unification and
independence. An editorial in the pro-unification "United Daily
News" said the movements to oust Bian are actually not the most
severe punishment for President Chen. The real, most severe
punishment for Chen, the article said, would be to torture Chen and
the DPP and put them to a slow political death until 2008. With
regard to the fifth anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, an
editorial in the limited-circulation, conservative, pro-unification,
English-language "China Post" said even the military might of the
world's only superpower has a limit. End summary.

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3. Campaign to Oust President Chen Shui-bian

A) "Who Is the Real Killer That Has Turned Taiwan into a

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 600,000]
editorialized (9/11):

"... The biggest lurking danger to the stability Taiwan society now
enjoys is the attempt to excessively politicize everything; there
seems to be differences in political stances only, while there is no
objective judgment between right and wrong. ... All politicians
and media should cherish Taiwan's democratic achievements. They
should not go to extreme lengths to destroy them just to vent their
personal hatred. A democratic society needs no saviors or martyrs,
and no person is so great as to be able to go beyond the laws and
the system. A democratic society is composed of many ordinary
people, whose votes are of equal value. In other words, only mutual
respect, peaceful co-existence, and adherence to the rules of the
game in a democracy can maintain Taiwan's democratic lifeline. No
matter how noble the objective of a mass protest is, if it
encourages riots and resentment, it will result in disasters and
calamity, as evidenced in the many lessons learned during human
history. ..."

B) "Tumbler Politician A-Bian Defeats Masters of This Nation"

The mass-circulation "Apple Daily" [circulation: 500,000]
editorialized (9/11):

"... Judged from the nature and members of the anti-graft movements
over the past two days, there were many Taiwanese people from all
walks of life joining the movements. As a result, these movements
are by no means confrontations between the Blue and Green camps,
between different ethnic groups, and between unification and
independence, as claimed by President Chen's supporters; neither are
they struggles to usurp power, as called by A-Bian in Nauru. If
A-Bian and the DPP view the Taiwan people's outrage as [polarities]
between Blue and Green, between different ethnic groups, between
unification and independence, and a move to usurp power, they are
just trying to deceive others and themselves, or to shift the
people's attention. Should this be the case, both that man and his
party cannot tell right from wrong or black and white; they distance
themselves from voices in society and are on their way to the grave
of their political death. Was the corruption of the A-Bian
administration a made-up story? What does it have to with Blue and
Green, ethnic groups, or power usurpation? It is related to nothing
but the administration's shamelessness. ..."

C) "From September 9 to December 9"

The pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000]
commented in an editorial (9/10):

"... The campaign this time is aimed at 'ousting Bian,' but the
public generally believe that given Chen Shui-bian's severe
resistance and insistence that he would never step down, it will not

be easy to fulfill this objective. In reality, however, 'ousting
Bian' may not necessarily be the most severe punishment for Chen.
The real, most severe punishment is to torture Chen and his
accomplice, the DPP, until 2008, put them to a slow death, and ask
them to shoulder all the political responsibilities they are
supposed to.

"The Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections slated for December 9
will be a turning point during this stage. If the DPP suffers a
severe defeat in the year-end Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral races,
the strategic option for those who are anti-graft and want to oust
Bian should no longer be to urge Chen to step down. As long as Chen
stays on in his position, the DPP infighting will surely escalate,
and the party will also face mounting criticism from outside. As a
result, chances will be slim for the DPP to win the legislative
elections in 2007 and the presidential election in 2008. Until
then, for those anti-graft and anti-Bian people, Chen's stepping
down and the DPP's falling apart will be a double victory. ..."


"In the Aftermath of 9-11, American Power Has Limits"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] noted in an editorial (9/11):

"... Bush was right in the assessment of the new aspect of terrorist
warfare. Al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations had
attacked Americans before, but those attacks took place outside the
United States. The president was right again in sending American
troops to Afghanistan to catch Osama bin Laden and his terrorist
group, which the Taliban government were harboring. But the
al-Qaida leader could not be trapped. The Taliban regime was
toppled, and the United States, together with the United Kingdom,
has to station large forces to keep peace in Afghanistan since. In
short, the right action was taken, albeit no success was achieved.
... The post-9-11 wars have failed to end the terrorist war on the
United States. The Islamist terrorists are expanding their war,
which has put the world, the West in particular, under constant
threat of suicidal attacks. The neo-conservatives have forgotten
the military might of the world's only superpower has a limit."


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