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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran, Taiwan's Economy

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #4193 3610849
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270849Z DEC 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3548
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6130
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 7360

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 004193

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN, TAIWAN'S ECONOMY


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused their
coverage December 27 on the strong earthquake and aftershocks that
rocked southern Taiwan Tuesday evening, and on Taiwan's high-speed
rail system, which will formally start its trial run next week.
Most papers also reported on inside pages that the Legislative
Yuan's Procedural Committee agreed Tuesday to put the NT$6.3 billion
supplementary arms budget on the agenda for Friday's plenary
session.

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a column in the
pro-status quo "China Times" said Washington is still in need of a
clear Iran policy. An editorial in the pro-independence "Liberty
Times," Taiwan's largest-circulation daily, on the other hand,
discussed Taiwan's economy, saying that in order for the island to
achieve better economic development for the coming year, the Taiwan
government needs to get rid of its previous admiistrative style
which centers on "cross-Strait relations." End summary.

3. Iran

"The Bush Administration Still Lacks a Clear Iran Policy"

The "International Outlook" column in the pro-status quo "China
Times" [circulation: 400,000] noted (12/27):

"... There seems to be no conclusive opinion yet with regard to what
exactly Washington's Iran policy will be. If [Washington is to act]
in accordance with James Baker's Iraq Study Group Report, the United
States should engage with Iran, as it would be conducive [for
Washington] to resolve the Iraq issue if it were able to coordinate
with Iran. But President George W. Bush does not seem to be very
interested in such an idea. Sources said neither Vice President
Dick Cheney nor Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice supported the
idea of engaging with Iran, so it is quite likely that Bush will not
accept Baker's proposal. ...

"The U.S. government has every reason to loathe Iran, but it is in
need of a clear and firm policy toward the country. The lack of a
clear Iran policy has caused Washington to become stuck in a dilemma
- it has neither adequate strength to shake and bring down Iran nor
enough softness or capacity to tolerate it; Washington has been this
way starting from the UN sanctions to the decision of whether or not
it wants Iran and Iraq to cooperate with each other."

4. Taiwan's Economy

"Looking at Taiwan's Economy in 2007 at the Year's End"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 600,000]
editorialized (12/27)

"... But we believe human efforts can achieve everything. If the
[Taiwan] government can get rid of the kind of administration that
centers on 'cross-Strait relations,' the objective of reaching an
economic growth of 4.14 percent [in 2007] shouldn't be too
difficult. ... As a result, on top of the moves to improve the
island's domestic investment environment and to provide more
incentives, the top priority for now is thoroughly to carry out
'proactive management,' [the new policy direction] announced by the
President in his New Year's Day address for 2006. Over the past
seven years, the government has paid excessive attention to the
ideas proposed by the pro-unification faction, which have thus
tilted the government policy toward opening [rather than
management]. As a result, the ratio of Taiwan's overseas production
has soared to nearly 45 percent this year, with the ratio [of
overseas production] for information technology hardware products
reaching as high as 93 percent. Such a development has consequently
slashed the prices for Taiwan's exports, making the conditions for
our country's external trade more unfavorable and rapidly
suppressing new investment projects on the island. This is the
major reason why our country's domestic consumption has cooled so
much [this year]. ..."

WANG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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