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

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #2319 2850814
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 120814Z OCT 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7117
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7350
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8632

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002319

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

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage October 12 on President Chen Shui-bian's decision to resume
the chairmanship of the DPP Thursday, on Taiwan's UN referendum and
the 2008 presidential election, and on Doris Lessing, winner of the
2007 Nobel Prize in literature. The centrist, KMT-leaning "China
Times" ran an exclusive news story on page six with the headline
"Taiwan Assures the United States That It Will Not Use Hsiung
Feng-IIE [Missiles] to Provoke [China]." Among the editorials and
commentaries, an editorial in the pro-independence, English-language
"Taipei Times" discussed the U.S.-China-Taiwan relations. The
article said the United States' "economic recklessness and blind
consumption has given China the upper hand in bilateral relations"
and concluded that it is "better to be a little tiger with sharp
teeth than a snack for a giant dragon." End summary.

"Better a Little Tiger with Sharp Teeth"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times" [circulation:
30,000] editorialized (10/12):

"... The US and the rest of the international community have rightly
expressed their disgust and condemned the junta in Myanmar following
its brutal crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy activists. But,
apart from the odd slap on the wrist and an annual report here and
there, the same powerful countries stay strangely silent on China's
human rights abuses, even though scenarios similar to those in
Myanmar occur on an almost daily basis. Human rights don't count in
China when there are economic interests at stake, it appears. The
mantra-like calls that were emanating from Washington not so long
ago for China to revalue its currency have decreased since a number
of important Chinese academics made public threats in the
international media about China cashing in its bonds and
destabilizing the US economy.

"Meanwhile, a reluctance to upset Beijing has also led the US to
look disingenuous when it talks about supporting democracy. On the
one hand members of the US administration traverse the globe touting
Taiwan's democratic achievements and the US' belief in and support
for emerging democracies, but on the other the US tells Taiwan it
can't hold a referendum, for doing so may upset its giant
undemocratic neighbor and make life difficult for the White House.
These are just the most recent examples of how the US' economic
recklessness and blind consumption has given China the upper hand in
bilateral relations. And the dream that economic development would
lead to political change in China has proved to be no more than
that. ...

"If close economic ties can reduce the US to the role of a
submissive customer, then what chance does Taiwan have? Better to
be a little tiger with sharp teeth than a snack for a giant
dragon."

WANG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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