Cablegate: Media Reaction: Taiwan's Un Bid, Olympic Torch Relay Issue
DE RUEHIN #2176 2670728
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240728Z SEP 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6906
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7288
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8550
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002176
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: TAIWAN'S UN BID, OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY ISSUE
1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave
significant coverage September 22-24 to a Supreme Prosecutors'
Office decision last Friday to indict DPP Vice President Annette Lu,
DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and National Security Council
Secretary-General Mark Chen on charges of corruption and forgery in
connection with their alleged misuse of the special allowance funds.
News coverage also focused on the announcement by Taiwan Olympic
officials Friday that the Olympic torch will not stop in Taiwan en
route to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing; on the 2008 presidential
election; and on a former Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau
agent, who was arrested Sunday for having allegedly collected
information for China.
2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a "Liberty Times"
editorial discussed Taiwan's UN bid and urged the Taiwan public to
make sustained and redoubled efforts to push the UN referendum. An
editorial in the pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
commented on the Olympic torch relay issue and said the world will
understand China's nature better after this controversy. End
3. Taiwan's UN Bid
"Make Sustained and Redoubled Efforts to Push Taiwan's UN Bid"
The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
"... This year, unlike our previous attempts to 'rejoin' the UN
under the name 'Republic of China,' our country has applied to
'join' the UN using the name 'Taiwan.' This move has posed a strong
and dazzling challenge to China's illusory One China principle.
Such a new approach has also provided an opportunity for countries
that are unclear about the cross-Strait situation to have a better
understanding of the essence of cross-Strait relations. For these
very reasons, China has treated Taiwan's UN bid with great caution;
it used every way it can to block Taiwan's application for the UN
membership, and it even openly opposed Taiwan's UN referendum via
the United States.
"But China's all-out efforts to suppress our country's UN bid have
unexpectedly aroused close attention from the international
community and media; more countries and international media chose to
defend Taiwan against such injustice. One can say that China's
apparent or implicit pressure [on Taiwan's UN bid] have provided
free publicity for Taiwan. ... Objectively speaking, the current
international situation is not favorable for Taiwan's UN bid. But
we must not feel discouraged by the setback in our UN bid; instead,
we should strengthen our efforts in pushing for the UN bid. ... In
order to let the international community hear the distinct voices of
Taiwan, this paper urges all the people of Taiwan to endorse the
proposed UN referendum proactively. They should also vote
enthusiastically in the referendum next year, and let the world hear
the Taiwan people's will to become a member of the UN."
4. Olympic Torch Relay Issue
"Farewell the Torch, Now for Theater"
The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] editorialized (9/22):
"The failure of Taiwan and China to reach a compromise on the
passage of the Olympic torch through Taiwan comes as an anti-climax.
This is because it was a foregone conclusion: The concessions
Beijing required -- no displays of offensive national symbols --
were always going to be intolerable, even allowing for the
pragmatism that accompanies sporting events. ...
"We look forward to the Games for this reason, and this reason only:
Every display of outrage at Chinese brutality, every word of dissent
and every humanitarian protest -- by local or foreigner -- will be
conflated with hooliganism, separatism, splittism, terrorism and any
other "ism" that comes to the mind of Beijing's propaganda squad.
The violent results will be a thick smear on the already sleazy
record of the IOC and a sober illustration of the profound ugliness
of the new Chinese nationalism. And the violence will come as a
rude shock for those who persist with the fantasy that China is a
benevolent culture whose time for pre-eminence has returned. The
slogan "genocide games" and likening Beijing 2008 to Berlin 1936 may
strike some as a little theatrical, but this may be because the
world has not been given a proper theater to understand China's
modern nature. Until now."