Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Taiwan Relations, Inter-Korean Summit
DE RUEHIN #2280/01 2770700
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040700Z OCT 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7056
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7318
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8596
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002280
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, INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT
1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage October 4 on Taiwan's UN bid, on the 2008 presidential
election, and on a decision reached by the DPP Central Standing
Committee Wednesday to ask President Chen Shui-bian to re-assume the
party chairmanship. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an
op-ed in the pro-independence "Liberty Times" discussed the merits
and demerits of the U.S. policy toward Taiwan. The article said the
fatal mistake in the U.S. policy toward Taiwan is its lack of
respect for Taiwan's public opinion. With regard to the
inter-Korean summit that took place Wednesday, an editorial in the
pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" said unification
between North and South Korea is more difficult than it looks. An
editorial in the conservative, pro-unification, English-language
"China Post" said the summit should at least have created a better
understanding between Seoul and Pyongyang of each other's stance.
2. U.S.-Taiwan Relations
"Merits and Demerits of the United States' Policy toward Taiwan"
Shen Chieh, a freelance journalist based in Taipei, opined in the
pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000] (10/4):
"The U.S. government's opposition to Taiwan's UN referendum has
triggered tension in Taipei-Washington relations and aroused
anti-U.S. sentiment [in Taiwan]. U.S. bureaucrats and scholars who
tend to view [cross-Strait] issues from China's perspective only
know they need to blame the DPP government, but they have never
reviewed the mistakes made by the United States. The predicament
that Taiwan is facing today is a result of the mistakes made by
Chiang Kai-shek's totalitarian control as well as those made by the
United States. One must not demand that the Taiwan people, who did
not have a say during the Martial Law period, continue shouldering
mistakes committed by Chiang Kai-shek and the United States.
Neither should anyone oppose the Taiwan people's pursuit of justice
and their efforts to right the wrongs made by dictators and strong
powers citing reasons such as a need not to 'change the status quo.'
"The fatal mistake in U.S. policy toward Taiwan is its lack of
respect for Taiwan's public opinion. ... Under the enlightenment and
encouragement of the U.S. government, the Taiwan people established
a democratic system and, based on their intent, they request the
writing of a new constitution, name change, and application for UN
membership. All these moves are efforts to redress the mistakes
made by Chiang Kai-shek and the United States for failing to show
respect for [Taiwan's] public opinion. The U.S. government thus
should no longer wrongly oppose these moves."
3. Inter-Korean Summit
A) "Unification Is Harder Than It Looks"
The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] editorialized (10/3):
"... Stability on the Korean Peninsula and unification of the two
Koreas is only propaganda to fool the public and the international
community. After the first summit between Kim Dae-jung and Kim
Jong-il, the situation on the Korean peninsula did not become safer.
North Korea was still working hard on the development of missiles
and nuclear weapons, which was why six-party talks followed between
North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the US. The
process of halting the six-party talks was manipulated by Kim
Jong-il. Although Pyongyang agreed to close down its nuclear
reactors, it is highly unlikely that the paranoid North Koreans will
follow up on the promises they made during the talks and give up
their nuclear aspirations.
"If North Korea were to sincerely lay a foundation for peaceful
unification in the Korean Peninsula and honor the international
community's demands to shut down its nuclear facilities, then it
should have already reached an agreement with other states in the
six-party talks. Unfortunately, it has all turned out to be the
other way around. As a result, there are no high expectations for
the summit. It is being held because South Korea needs something
from North Korea. But this is just Roh's wishful thinking, and Kim
does not expect much from Roh's North Korea visit. ..."
B) "Hoping for Permanent Peace on the Korean Peninsula"
The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (10/4):
"... Whether the meeting between Roh and Kim will lead soon to a
major reduction in tensions in the peninsula remains to be seen.
And few believe Korea can be reunified in the foreseeable future.
But the Roh-Kim summit should have created a better understanding
between them of each others stance. If Seoul and Pyongyang keep at
it, a permanent peace on their peninsula will become reality one