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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Taiwan Relations

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1837 2260833
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140833Z AUG 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6363
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7124
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8369

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001837

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.-TAIWAN RELATIONS

1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused their
news coverage August 14 on the indictment of media baron Gary Wang
on charges of embezzling more than USD 1 billion in corporate funds,
and on the remarks of former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton,
in which he stated that Taiwan's representation in the UN is
"appropriate."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, the pro-independence
"Liberty Times" said in an editorial that the transit arrangements
for President Chen Shui-bian's Central America visit next week are a
test of U.S. resistance to China's pressure. End summary.

"The Treatment of President Chen's Transit in the United States Is
Trying U.S. Ideals and Its Capability to Resist Pressure"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (8/14):

"... In other words, when President Chen made the 'four-noes and
one-without" pledge, which is equal to limiting Taiwan's pursuit of
sovereignty, he would receive very good transit treatment. He could
even receive a human rights award, give a speech and hold big
banquets for local overseas Taiwanese in New York. Therefore,
although superficially called as transit, the trip was, in fact, a
U.S. visit. The destination countries were secondary goals compared
to the cities in which he stopped over. In contrast, when President
Chen emphasized Taiwan's sovereignty by making the 'one country on
either side across the Strait' statement, announcing the 'cease in
functioning of the National Unification Council and the National
Unification Guidelines,' promoting a 'defensive referendum,' or
[proclaiming] a 'referendum on Taiwan's UN bid,' then would come
China's overwhelming pressure [Ed. Note: idiom used here literally
means "move mountains and overturn seas]. As it is hard for the
United States to withstand the pressure, Washington would downgrade
the level and place of President Chen's transit to barely satisfy
China. And U.S.-Taiwan relations went into a low ebb.

"... If Taiwan is willing to degrade itself, settle for second best,
be content with not being a normal state, and give up its pursuit of
an independent national identity, then President Chen can have a
high-profile transit through the United States. Or else, if Taiwan
wants to be itself and does not want to be a part of China, then it
will be gain the ill fame of being the troublemaker that breaks the
status quo and receive harsh treatment from the United States.

"... Taiwan has its own national designation, territory, government,
[population of] 23 million people, healthy democracy and prosperous
economy. Why can't it be a UN member? Why can't it hold referenda
to demonstrate its national will to join the international
community? What is wrong with the proposed UN bid referendum? The
whole nation should support President Chen's insistence on ideals
and on maintaining national identity and dignity without caring for
his personal honor or disgrace. As for whether the United States
will let President Chen transit the U.S. mainland [sic; should be
"continental United States"], it will be a test of U.S. ideals and
its capability to resist pressure."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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