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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Dpp Presidential Candidate Frank Hsieh's

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1730/01 2140904
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 020904Z AUG 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6231
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7090
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8338

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001730

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: DPP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FRANK HSIEH'S
U.S. TRIP, TAIWAN'S UN BID


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage August 3 on Taiwan's stock index, which suffered its
biggest decline in more than three years Wednesday; on rising oil
and consumer prices; on the DPP's "Normal Country Resolution" draft;
and on Taiwan's bid to join the United Nations. The pro-unification
"United Daily News" ran an exclusive banner headline on page four
that read "The United States Allows Bian to Transit outside the
Continental U.S. but Not to Stay Overnight." The sub-headline
added: "[Bian to] Visit Central America on August 20; the United
States Reportedly Refuses Bian to Transit the Continental U.S.
Because It Objects to [Chen's] Push for [Taiwan's] UN Bid. Taiwan
Does Not Exclude [the Possibility of] Having a 'Breakthrough
Journey' Again."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, the "Black and White"
column in the "United Daily News" discussed DPP presidential
candidate Frank Hsieh's remarks Tuesday that, once he is elected,
Taiwan's name change and the writing of a new constitution will be
completed within five years. In a sarcastic tone the article urged
the Taiwan people to vote in favor of Hsieh, since he already has a
timetable for Taiwan independence and has said he will not make
promises he cannot keep. A separate "United Daily News" op-ed said
it would be a tough test for Beijing, since both the KMT and the DPP
are pushing for Taiwan's UN bid. End summary.

3. DPP Presidential Candidate Frank Hsieh's U.S. Trip

"Frank Hsieh's Timetable for Taiwan Independence"

The "Black and White" column in the pro-unification "United Daily
News" [circulation: 400,000] wrote (8/2):

"How on earth did Frank Hsieh get to a state where he is speaking so
incoherently? Hsieh said one thing when he was in the United States
and something totally different after he returned to Taiwan. Hsieh
announced his 'Three Nos' in the States -- there is no need for a
referendum on Taiwan independence, for the Taiwan independence
movements, and for Taiwan to declare independence. After he
returned to Taiwan, when being pressed for an answer by the host of
a TV news program, he changed his statement and said name change and
the writing of a new constitution will be realized within five years
[after he is elected]. Hsieh has finally taken a stand on
advocating 'ultimate Taiwan independence.' Even more, he has come
up with a 'timetable for Taiwan independence,' which will be
implemented within five years.

"As a matter of fact, it is already a 'status quo' tacitly
recognized by Washington, Beijing and Taipei whether one claims that
'Taiwan is an independent sovereign state' or 'the Republic of China
is an independent sovereign state.' The only thing that is left to
determine is whether a move alters the status quo or whether Taiwan
independence is nothing but a name change and the writing of a new
constitution. If [Taiwan] does not 'change its name and write a new
constitution,' it is not 'sabotaging the status quo'; if it does, it
is considered [to be a move]'sabotaging the status quo' or toward
'de jure Taiwan independence.' ...

"Hsieh has repeatedly emphasized that he does not pledge easily, and
that once he does, he will surely see it through. In that case, in
order to rectify Taiwan's name, write Taiwan a new constitution, put
de jure Taiwan independence into practice, and to 'transfer' the
sovereignty of the 'Republic of China' to the 'Republic of Taiwan'
within five years, let us all cast our ballots to Frank Hsieh, the
new godfather of Taiwan independence! Hsieh, you'll have to keep
you five-year promise!"

4. Taiwan's UN Bid

"Both Parties Are Pushing for Referenda, a Test for the
Anti-Secession Law"

Former DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui opined in the pro-unification
"United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000] (8/2):

"Both the DPP and KMT are jointly pushing for the UN referendum. It
goes without saying that this is a harsh test for China's
Anti-Secession Law. ... Currently, there are two frontlines China
is engaged in opposing de jure Taiwan independence: One is to stop
major countries in the world from establishing diplomatic ties with
Taiwan and to prevent Taiwan from participating in the international
organizations for which statehood is a requirement. China has not
encountered many problems on this aspect. The other is to stop the
national system of Taiwan from becoming independent in a legal form.
This will not be such an easy task. Previously, be it the
elections for the entire legislative body, the popular vote on the
president, the writing of referenda into the Constitution, the
abolishment of the Taiwan provincial government, the name change
campaign, or the abolition of the National Unification Council, they
U.S. TRIP, TAIWAN'S UN BID

were all legal moves pushing Taiwan toward independence, and they
were all severely opposed by Beijing and blocked by the conservative
force in the KMT. But such 'illegal' red lines have been crossed
[by Taiwan] one after another. Now, even Ma Ying-jeou has softened
his stance and said he does not exclude the possibility of revising
or writing a new constitution in the future that meets Taiwan's
needs. Ma even jointly pushed for the UN referendum with the DPP,
and he does not object to a UN bid under the name Taiwan. All these
have made it more difficult for China to block Taiwan from moving
toward legal independence. ..."

YOUNG

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