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


DE RUEHIN #3242/01 2620934
R 190934Z SEP 06





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Summary: As the campaign to oust President Chen Shui-bian stayed
in the Taiwan media's spotlight September 19, news coverage also
focused on the new legislative session, which began today; clashes
that broke out between pro-Chen and anti-Chen protesters in
Kaohsiung Monday; and the imported fresh spinach from the U.S. said
to be contaminated with E.Coli. The pro-independence "Liberty
Times," Taiwan's largest circulating daily, ran a banner headline on
page four that read "Red Plans Besiege the Presidential Office On
Double Ten Day; Green to Counterattack by Expanding Support for

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an analysis in the
pro-status quo "China Times" discussed the possibility of whether
elites in the Green camp will join the campaign to oust President
Chen in the wake of the high-profile "Oust Bian" parade on September
15. An analysis in the pro-unification "United Daily News"
speculated on a possible alliance between former President Lee
Teng-hui, Vice President Annette Lu, and Legislative Yuan President
Wang Jin-pyng to confront President Chen. An editorial in the
limited-circulation, pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan
News," on the other hand, discussed the State Department's
International Religious Freedom Report, saying human rights should
be Asia's common language. An opinion piece by DPP Chairman Yu
Shyi-kun in the limited-circulation, pro-independence,
English-language "Taipei Times" urged the international community to
consider Taiwan "an asset for democratic enlargement and give it
firm support against China's threats." End summary.

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3. Campaign to Oust President Chen Shui-bian

A) "From Siege of the City to Siege of the Presidential Office, Shih
is Intensifying Pressure; Can Bian Stand it?"

Journalist Lo Ju-lan noted in an analysis in the pro-status quo
"China Times" [circulation: 400,000] (9/19):

"... When it comes to the [mounting] public sentiments as evidenced
on the [mass movement] on September 15, the prosecutors' findings
will be the key for political elites in the Green camp to decide
whether they want to oust Bian. The Presidential Office and some
pro-independence seniors, on the other hand, also started to claim
in public that Bian should not step down even if [First Lady] Wu
Shu-chen is indicted. The Presidential Office is hoping to use such
a modus operandi to block the channels that those Green elites may
adopt to oust Bian. It is noteworthy, however, that Bian's modus
operandi is constantly to change and revise his stories about the
SOGO Department Store gift certificates case and the special account
for affairs of state case, which is the main reason why he has
completely lost public support. If he changes his remarks about
whether he should step down again as the case develops, it will
perhaps trigger more outrage from the public and therefore
accumulate stronger energy for mass movements. In addition, if
Bian, in an attempt to secure his position, continues to make
mistakes such as ordering the Green camp to mobilize more crowds, as
he did on September 16, the Green heavyweights will prefer to draw a
line between themselves and him. ...

"Right now, the rising anti-Bian public sentiment has become a
voting issue, to which anyone in the Green camp aspiring to run for
the 2008 presidential election has to pay attention. The DPP's
survival is of essential importance to these persons' future
political careers, and their concerns deepened in the wake of the
mass protest march on September 15. ..."

B) "Bian's Powerful Manipulation Makes it Difficult for Lee, Lu and
Wang to Form Alliance"

Journalist Ho Ming-kuo said in an analysis in the pro-unification
"United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000] (9/19):

"President Chen Shui-bian insists on staying on in his position,
while the campaign to oust Bian is gaining more and more momentum.
The direction of the three heavyweights, Lee Teng-hui, Annette Lu,
and Wang Jin-pyng, is believed to be the key influencing future
political developments. There are even people constantly
speculating on the possibility of joining these three powers in
forming a new political partnership and opening up a new political
situation. But under the powerful manipulation of Bian, chances are
slim for these powers to join forces at this moment. ...

"When it comes to political manipulation, Lee, Lu, and Wang must all
keep a certain space for mobilizing possible threats against Bian in
order to create more favorable conditions for their political
futures. This explains why, over the past few months, President
Chen's team kept on releasing messages about appointing Wang as the
next premier and showing extraordinary courtesy to Lu. The
movements to oust Bian and to support him are both in high gear now;
neither has showed any sign of stopping, and both act like two

trains that are ready to crash into each other. In the meantime,
they are accumulating energy for the future. What is most important
is that heavyweights in both the ruling and opposition parties are
seizing this opportunity to try to press Bian. But Bian's recent
remarks show he has no intention to give up so early. As a result,
at present there seems to be no resolution to the prevailing
sentiments of confrontation."

4. DOS International Religious Freedom Report

"Human Rights Should Be Asia's Common Language"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News" [circulation:
20,000] editorialized (9/19):

"In its just-released 2006 Report on International Religious
Freedom, the United States State Department has listed China as one
of the countries with the worst records, naming the People's
Republic of China among 'countries of particular concern,' along
with Burma, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and
Vietnam. ... In recent years, the PRC government has been very
flexible in its use of international politics and market
opportunities as cards to play with the U.S. and other international
players. In apparent consideration of China's market opportunities
and Beijing's strategic role in helping the George W. Bush
administration fight its 'war on terror,' Washington has refrained
from sufficiently pushing the PRC to improve human rights
conditions. ...

"As PRC leaders promote the Beijing Olympics as a showcase of the
country's social and economic progress and a symbol of China's
greater international recognition, it will be interesting to see if
the international community will seriously scrutinize the PRC
regime's actions in relation to basic rights protection. So far
Beijing's progress, as reflected in the U.S. State Department's
annual reports on human rights and on the September 15 report on
religious freedom, are far from sanguine. In contrast, the USSD
report related that Taiwan's constitution provides for freedom of
religion and, more importantly, affirmed that the Taiwan
'authorities generally respected this right in practice' and that
'authorities at all levels sought to protect this right in full and
did not tolerate its abuse, either by official or private actors.'
We believe that Taiwan should take a more proactive stance in
pointing out China's notorious records on human rights and the
similarities of Beijing's move to suppress the human rights of
Taiwan's people by attempting to impose its 'one China' principle
and by its blocking our rightful participation in the international
community, including in the United Nations and the World Health
Organization. ..."

5. Cross-Strait Relations

"China Sans Democracy Is a China Sans Peace"

DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun opined in an opinion piece in the
pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] (9/19):

"The question of whether China's rise represents an opportunity or a
threat to the world has been a topic of heated debate. ... If the
KMT wins the 2008 presidential election, I venture to predict that
the influence of Chinese nationalism will cause the KMT leadership
to move toward a more centered position between China and the US,
and weaken the relationship between Taiwan and Japan. This would
not only mean that Taiwan will move toward China politically, but
also and more importantly that democracy in Taiwan would regress in
the same way it has regressed in Hong Kong, leading people to start
doubting their faith in democracy. ...

"Taiwan's experience shows that a growing, undemocratic and
authoritarian China will wield economic power to damage the
democratic system of another country. If it can hurt Taiwan, it can
of course do the same to other nations. I believe that China is
working to gradually erode the foundations of the alliance of
democratic nations established by the US. ... The international
community should therefore consider Taiwan as an asset for
democratic enlargement and give it firm support against China's
threats and the crisis China is creating in Taiwan."


© Scoop Media

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