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

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #3259/01 2630833
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 200833Z SEP 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2227
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5676
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6893

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 003259

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: CAMPAIGN TO OUST PRESIDENT CHEN SHUI-BIAN


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused their
coverage September 20 on the ongoing and follow-on movements to
former DPP Chairman Shih Ming-teh's campaign to oust President Chen
Shui-bian; on the violent clashes that erupted between the pro-Chen
and anti-Chen protesters in Tainan Tuesday; and on an attempted
military coup in Thailand Tuesday. The pro-status quo "China Times"
ran a front-page banner headline that read "To Communicate with Bian
over Exit Mechanism, Lee Teng-hui Will Invite Lien, Soong, and Wang
to Help Resolve Political Chaos." The pro-unification "United Daily
News" also ran a banner headline on page six that said: "Watching
Political Developments, Lee Teng-hui Does Not Rule out Possibility
of Ousting Bian." The pro-independence "Liberty Times," Taiwan's
biggest daily, by contrast, carried a banner headline on page four
that read "Shih Ming-teh Calls for Negotiation, [But] Lee Teng-hui
Remains Unmoved."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a "China Times"
editorial calls for tolerance in dealing with the clashes between
the people who oppose President Chen and those who support him. A
"United Daily News" editorial urged the Legislative Yuan to consider
launching a presidential recall motion for the second time. An
editorial in the limited-circulation, pro-independence,
English-language "Taiwan News" said Taiwan needs a cease-fire and an
end to political confrontations between the ruling and opposition
parties. End summary.

A) "Be Tolerant and Sympathetic toward the Various Anxieties of the
Red-Shirted and Pro-Green Groups"

The pro-status quo "China Times" [circulation: 400,000]
editorialized (9/20):

"The confrontation between the red-shirted people who want to oust
Bian and the Green pro-Chen supporters seems to be spreading to
every part of the island. Regardless of the question of whether
such clashes will escalate, no one is happy to see the confrontation
being directed to become battles among the Taiwan people. ... For
Taiwan, the most important thing right now is not to find an enemy
inside the island, and the most urgent issue is not about its
sovereignty. Instead, the top priority is to rebuild the values
system that has been trampled on and torn down, to reclaim the
significance of right and wrong, and to establish a sound foundation
for the operation of Taiwan's democracy. It is fortunate that the
'Oust Bian' movement this time has risen beyond the traditional
labels that distinguish different political parties, Blue and Green,
and unification and independence. The enthusiastic participation of
women and youth in the campaign also manifested a new, pure, and
genuinely honest power, which is derived from love, not from fear or
grief. Taiwan has found its future in this power; and it's up to
the Blue and the Green camps each to decide if they also view it the
same way."

B) "Legislative Yuan May Consider Launching Recall Motion for the
Second Time"

The pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000]
(9/20):

"On the night of September 15, people who want to oust Bian flooded
the streets of Taipei City like red lava. In the face of such a
situation, Chen Shui-bian undoubtedly not only feels uneasy at the
Presidential Office but is also unable to manage the country
effectively. Even when he left the capital and went to other
cities, he still faced protests of those who want him to step down;
he has lost all his dignity. Should this situation continue,
national affairs will be left unattended, and Taiwan will cease to
function and be stuck in stagnation for the next 20 months. Now is
the time for the Legislative Yuan to consider launching a
presidential recall motion for the second time! The timing for
launching such a motion should be at the moment when the
investigation report on the special account for affairs of state
case is made public. ...

"The purpose of launching a second recall motion is to use key
issues, such as the closing of the case on the special account for
affairs of state, to test again the attitudes of the DPP and the
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU). The TSU, which abstained from voting
for the first recall motion, will have to reconsider its position
now. The DPP will also have to cope seriously with the second
recall motion in the face of [the investigation report] which may
possibly say 'Wu Shu-chen is indicted on the charges, while Chen's
involvement in the case is sealed for the time being and will be
charged after he leaves office.' ..."

C) "Time for Dialogue, Not Confrontation"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News" [circulation:
20,000] noted in an editorial (9/20):
"... Taiwan needs a cease-fire and an end of political confrontation
between the governing ruling and opposition political forces and for
all sides to step back from short-term partisan interests or
personal resentments to engage in dialogue on Taiwan's needs in a
broader perspective. The recent campaign, both by the 'Depose Chen'
campaign and the 'Formosa Sunshine' rally, have demonstrated a
growing public eagerness for cleaner government, more political
stability, continued economic improvement, efficient and responsive
governance and rule of law through democratic political institutions
and an independent judiciary. Taiwan's democracy may not be
perfect, but it has gone through bottom-up and grassroots evolution.
Any resource to extremist measures that contravene the principle of
democratic change under a constitutional order will constitute not a
progressive 'revolution' but a regressive 'counter-revolution' that
will annihilate our difficult but considerable democratic progress.
Only by ending political confrontation and restarting dialogue can
Taiwan enter the next stage of democratic deepening and
consolidation."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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