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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cross-Strait Trade

VZCZCXYZ0008
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #4061 3400905
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 060905Z DEC 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3354
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6053
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 7275

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 004061

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: CROSS-STRAIT TRADE


Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies continued to focus
their coverage December 6 on the upcoming Taipei and Kaohsiung
mayoral races, and on the aftermath of a fatal bus crash near Tainan
on Sunday. News coverage also centered on the improved condition of
Taichung Mayor Jason Hu's wife, who has remained in a coma since a
serious car accident in late November. The pro-independence
"Liberty Times," Taiwan's largest-circulation daily, front-paged the
results of its latest survey, which showed that KMT mayoral
candidate Huang Chun-ying and DPP mayoral candidate Chen Chu now
enjoy almost the same level of support (approximately 34 percent) in
Kaohsiung. The pro-status quo "China Times" reported on page four
the results of its latest survey, which showed that support for KMT
Taipei mayoral candidate Hau Lung-pin remained at 48 percent, while
the approval rating for DPP Taipei mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh
climbed to a new high of 22 percent. In terms of editorials and
commentaries, most papers editorialized on the upcoming mayoral
elections. But the "Liberty Times" editorial continued to focus on
cross-Strait trade and urged the DPP government not to ease the
restrictions on investment in China. End summary.

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"Would the DPP Government Please Stop Doing Things That Will Pain
Its Friends but Please Its Enemies?"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 600,000]
editorialized (12/6):

"... Let's look at the consequences of the proactive opening policy
and [the government's decision] significantly to ease restrictions
[on cross-Strait trade] over the past six years: Taiwan's domestic
investment rate stands at an average of one percent only, (while
during the period of the 'No Haste, Be Patient' policy, the island's
average domestic investment rate from 1995 to 1999 was 6.4 percent,
a gap of nearly sixfold). Taiwan's GDP growth also dropped from 4.3
percent to 2 percent. On what grounds can those hardcore officials
who cater to China and who support westbound investments speak
loudly about nonsense of 'opening and easing restrictions?' Is it
possible that 'wiping out the entire nation and unifying [with
China]' is the ultimate goal of [Taiwan's] national economic policy?
..."

YOUNG

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