Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Taiwan Relations
DE RUEHIN #2305 2820859
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 090859Z OCT 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7099
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7342
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8623
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002305
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 news
coverage October 9 on Typhoon Krosa, which swept through the island
over the weekend; on the military parade on Oct. 10, the first in 16
years; and on DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's absence from
public appearances for the ten days.
2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the
pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" said Taiwan should
shop elsewhere for its planned purchase of fighter jets. An op-ed in
the same newspaper Oct. 8 claimed that recent remarks by U.S.
officials opposing Taiwan's bid to join the United Nations suggested
that there might be a secret deal between the U.S. and China. End
3. U.S.-Taiwan Relations
A) "The F-16 Isn't the Only Bird in Town"
The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] editorialized (10/9):
"As China's military threat is not becoming any less severe, Taipei
must find a way to pull itself out from this quandary. The solution
is fairly simple- shot elsewhere. Luckily, there is no shortage of
companies and states eager to sell weaponry to countries in need.
"There would be other advantages to widening the list of potential
defense contractors. For one, increased competition means that
prices would likely to down. It would also diminish Taiwan's
unhealthy reliance on the U.S. to meet its defense needs, which puts
it at risk when, as now, politics have a detrimental impact on
"In other words, by shopping around, Taiwan would prompt Beijing to
make more belligerent demands with more countries -- perhaps
alienating them in the process -- which could prove politically
B) "U.S. Choice: Principle or Realpolitik"
Jerome Keating, a Taiwan-based commentator, opined in the "Taipei
Times" [circulation: 30,000](10/8):
"In effect, the unresolved status of the 23 million free and
democratic people of Taiwan allows the U.S. to use Taiwan as a pawn,
a bargaining chip in its dealings with China. Is this going beyond
realpolitik and leading to a betrayal of principles?
"[Deputy Assistant Secretary of State] Christensen indicated that he
believes that China has drawn a line in the sand over its
interpretation of a spurious symbolic code and names....
"The rhetoric and tone Christensen uses indicate that yet another
secret Kissinger-like deal exists between the U.S. and China. This
"Taiwan is being asked to take responsibility for the hole that the
U.S. has dug. China's provocative assertions and claims over the
democratic people of Taiwan and is provocative pile of missiles
against Taiwan are more harmful to the 'status quo' and the peace
and stability of the Taiwan Strait than any statements or actions
made by Taiwan."