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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations, Taiwan's Un

VZCZCXYZ0014
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #2272/01 2760906
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030906Z OCT 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7042
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7314
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8590

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002272

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.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS, TAIWAN'S UN
BID


1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage October 3 on the inter-Korean summit Tuesday; on
speculations about who will head the DPP now; and on the soaring
commodity prices. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an
editorial in the pro-independence "Liberty Times" called the United
States' attention to China's restoration of an annual military
exercise on Dongshan Island in early September and said Beijing's
military intimidation against Taiwan will be the biggest test for
the United States. An editorial in the pro-independence,
English-language "Taiwan News," on the other hand, said the island's
bid to join the UN under the name Taiwan this year has boosted
Taiwan's space in the international community and placed Beijing in
a defensive position . End summary.

2. U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

"China's Military Intimidation against Taiwan Will Be the Biggest
Test for the United States"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (10/3):

"... China's intimidation against Taiwan appeared to be aiming at
Taiwan's UN referendum on the surface, but in reality, China will
intimidate Taiwan using saber-rattling anyway, even if Taiwan does
not [push for] a UN referendum. In the beginning, China openly
announced its opposition to Taiwan's UN referendum by imposing
pressure on the United States, and it acted as if it has got a blank
check for its preparations for imposing political, military and
economic pressure against Taiwan. Whether China will seize this
opportunity to endanger peace across the Taiwan Strait has indeed
become a major test for the United States. ...

"In the face of China's closing in step by step, the reaction Taiwan
should have is definitely not to flinch; instead, it should more
proactively safeguard its sovereignty and make full preparations
politically, militarily and economically. The government, in
particular, should strive to resist external pressure and encourage
the Taiwan people's national awareness. It should strive to have
the referendum on Taiwan's UN bid under the name Taiwan be passed so
as to demonstrate to the international community the strong will of
the Taiwan people against annexation. Since the DPP has already
approved its normal country resolution, it should push for Taiwan's
name change and write a new constitution in an orderly fashion so as
to turn Taiwan a normal country as early as possible.

"While China is using the UN referendum as an excuse for its secret
deployment designated to alter the status quo across the Taiwan
Strait unilaterally, the United States, in addition to announce
openly its opposition to Taiwan's UN referendum, has even decided to
postpone the plan to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. Such a
decision has totally violated Washington's calls over the recent
years for Taiwan to pass its arms procurements budget as early as
possible so as to prevent military imbalance across the Taiwan
Strait. Once China decides to take risks in desperation and thus
sabotages the stability across the Taiwan Strait, the United States
will encounter greater risks so as to be able to maintain regional
security in the Western Pacific. It is really not smart to let this
happen.

"We must remind [our] American friends that opposition to Taiwan's
UN referendum is one thing, while the fact that China is using the
UN referendum to intimidate Taiwan is a separate issue.
[Washington] should separate these two issues clearly and weigh
which is more important. The UN referendum only involves
differences between the U.S. and Taiwan governments toward certain
policies. But for China's military intimidation against Taiwan,
including Beijing's moves to use political, military and economic
means to create crises in the Taiwan Strait, will cost immeasurable
loss of the U.S. interests. China will surely get greedier and
start to make greater demands so as to have a say in terms of
cross-Strait issues.

"Given the United States' recent moves to indulge China's
suppression against Taiwan, changes will likely occur with regard to
the Taiwan people's constant pro-U.S. attitude. ... Now, China is
ready to impose pressure on Taiwan unscrupulously because Washington
caters to China in opposing to Taiwan's UN referendum. This has
proved that the so-called troublemaker is not Taiwan, but China;
Washington has apparently confused its target when it placed
pressure on Taiwan. Which is more dangerous, Taiwan's peaceful
referendum or China's military intimidation? The U.S. government
might want to think thrice about its answer."

3. Taiwan' UN Bid

"'U.N. for Taiwan' Boosted Our Space"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News" [circulation:
20,000] editorialized (10/3):

"As anticipated, intense and rigid opposition by the People's
Republic of China led to the failure of allied countries to raise
the question of Taiwan's representation in the United Nations for
the 15th consecutive year. Nevertheless, the Democratic Progressive
Party-led government and citizens or concerned foreign supporters
should not feel dispirited or pessimistic, as this year's effort,
which was the first campaign in which Taiwan applied directly for
U.N. membership, obtained very positive results. Passively
speaking, this year's high-profile drive allowed the international
community and the global media to gain a far greater contact,
appreciation and understanding of the reality of the unjust and
unfair treatment of Taiwan and our 23 million people in the global
community and the U.N. On a more positive or proactive note, this
year's campaign placed the PRC regime in a defensive position and
compelled it to engage in an expensive mobilization of over 100 of
its supporters in the U.N. against a campaign waged by less than 20
diplomatic allies of Taiwan. ...

"In the longer run, the adoption, however belated, of an offensive
and Taiwan-centric diplomatic strategy promises to allow our country
to retain the initiative and to be able to select the most favorable
battleground and tactics and compels Beijing to spend more time and
resources on the defensive. Beijing has consistently adopted a
strategy of diplomatically blockading Taiwan, but has now been
placed in an unfavorable defensive position by Taipei's decision to
'come out of the closet' and press for its proper place in
international society and the U.N. under the name of 'Taiwan.' At
the same time, an offensive diplomatic strategy must not become a
strategy of foolhardiness or adventurism, but instead must use the
minimum resources and the maximum in wisdom and intelligence and
manifest a high degree of creativity to boost the credibility of our
diplomatic attractions and deterrence. ..."

YOUNG

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