Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cross-Strait Relations
DE RUEHIN #2390/01 2970819
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240819Z OCT 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7224
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7386
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8666
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002390
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: CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS
Summary: News coverage of Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies
October 23 focused on issues related to the upcoming legislative and
presidential elections in Taiwan, including economic matters, plus
the government-supported torch relay for the UN bid and the KMT's
cycling tour for UN readmission as the Republic of China. Both
activities started October 23 and will go around the island. In
terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial of the centrist,
KMT-leaning "China Times" said a new era of cross-Strait relations
may be coming, as both Taiwan and China see new leadership. The
pro-independence English-language "Taiwan News" urged in an
editorial that the ruling DPP learn more about China. End summary.
A) "More Humanity, Less Confrontation"
The centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times" [circulation: 400,000]
"In particular, Hu Jintao devoted a significant part of his
political report to a discussion on culture, mentioning terms such
as 'soft cultural power,' 'cultural productivity,' 'dynamic cultural
creativity,' and 'cultural industry clusters,' which are different
from those used by his predecessors. All these indicate that in the
future, Chinese Communist authorities will resort to new thinking
and practices to resolve the problems caused by imbalanced
[economic] developments, in addition to rejuvenating the leadership.
It is expected that this new set of strategies for governing the
nation will also be applied to cross-Strait relations. This is what
it means to say 'harmony' for internal affairs, 'peace' for the
outside world, and 'reconciliation' for the two sides across the
"The 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party has
ended. Both sides of the Strait are about to welcome a new era. As
the new generation of Chinese Communist leaders are presented to the
world together, we hope that the 'putting people first' theory will
also become the core of the Chinese Communists' Taiwan policy. More
humanity and less confrontation; then we are able to find the
greatest common factor for cross-Strait reconciliation. Similarly,
besides the need to learn the backgrounds, beliefs, and styles of
the new Chinese leadership, the Taiwan side also must take hold of
the leadership's framework of thinking in the years to come. After
all, whichever political party becomes the ruling party in 2008, it
has to be prepared to deal with this new leadership group. Let us
wait and see if there will be a new kind of 'cross-Strait relations'
by that time!"
B) "Taiwan Must Learn to Cope with PRC"
The pro-independence English-language "Taiwan News" [circulation:
20,000] editorialized (10/24):
"... Although Hu's use of the vocabulary of 'peace' has been
welcomed by many elements in international society, Beijing has yet
to take any action to slow, much less reduce, its deployment of
ballistic missiles (now nearly 1,000) aimed at Taiwan or to revoke
its belligerent March 2005 "anti-secession law" that explicitly
threatens the use of "non-peaceful measures" against Taiwan if the
latter refuses to accept unification.
"Hence, we believe Washington's positive evaluation given to Hu's
gesture is seriously divorced from reality.
"... Such hasty, naive and unrealistic comments by high-ranking US
officials on the empty words of PRC leaders such as Hu Jintao will
further mislead the international media and consolidate Beijing's
manufactured and misleading image as a 'peacemaker.'
"It seems that positive rhetoric, instead of complex and perhaps
unpleasant realities, are more in accordance with the preferences of
the current US policy-makers, who seem incapable of understanding
the mentality of the current generation of PRC leadership that was
shaped by the troubled decade of the so-called 'Great Proletarian
Cultural Revolution' from 1966 to 1976. In this respect, the DPP
leadership itself needs to be more diligent in understanding the
background and mentality of the current and future CCP leadership if
they ever hope to match wits with them.
"... The combination of PRC deception, US naivete and the KMT's
blindness has naturally added to the difficulty faced by the DPP-led
government in defending Taiwan's sovereignty and democracy.
"Hence, it is vitally important for the DPP government and party to
sweep away the remaining shreds of the decades-long policy of
ignorance imposed by the KMT martial law regime on the history of
the Chinese Revolution against the KMT on the mainland and the
nature of PRC society and the condition of the 1.3 billion Chinese
"Only with deeper inquiry into the nature of the PRC regime, the
Chinese economy and the conditions and desires of ordinary Chinese
people will Taiwan's own policy-makers be prepared to cope with Hu
and the rising heavyweights in the CCP and make accurate judgments
of the direction of evolution of Chinese society."