Cablegate: Media Reaction: Us Cross-Strait Policy
DE RUEHIN #2451 3100952
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 060952Z NOV 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7311
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7420
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8703
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 002451
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: US CROSS-STRAIT POLICY
Summary: News coverage of Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies
November 6 still focused on consumer price hikes. They also reported
on the US Department of Defense (DoD) corrections to a news report
on its Web site that originally said that the US is against Taiwan
independence and for peaceful reunification of China and Taiwan.
Both DoD and the Department of State said the US cross-Strait policy
remains unchanged. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an
editorial in the mass-circulation "Apple Daily" said that, if the
DoD news report is true, the US may be trying to rid itself of the
obligation of protecting Taiwan. End summary.
A) "The US Secretly Scheming to Get Rid of Taiwan Relations Act"
The mass-circulation "Apple Daily" [circulation: 530,000]
"During his visit to China US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said
[President] George W. Bush opposes Taiwan independence and defines
the referendum on Taiwan's UN bid as a 'referendum on independence.'
The worst is that President Bush actually said he would be happy to
see the two sides across the Strait reunify peacefully.
"The DPP believes the US does not want Taiwan to be unified with
China, lest it lose an important chess piece with which to hold
China in check. Therefore, the US could only privately support the
DPP's continued rule. This is a matter of principle. Even if the
US does not care if Taiwan unifies with China, as long as Taiwan
does not want reunification and if China uses force, the US cannot
but get involved. This US dilemma toward Taiwan is the reason why
Ah-bian dares to offend the US. In other words, Ah-bian, who is
good at kidnapping other people, has also kidnapped the US.
However, Bian and the DPP are too naive.
"Bush's saying that he is happy to see peaceful reunification is
very grave. It is much worse than the change of wording from 'not
support' to 'oppose' Taiwan independence. Bush seems to have moved
from being anti-Bian but not anti-Taiwan to being anti-Taiwan. We
hope this story is not true. If it is, Taiwan will be in serious
danger. Maybe the US and China would reach some consensus, such as
'joint management of the Taiwan Strait,' or 'an implicit agreement
to a military invasion of Taiwan,' etc. The fact that the 'UN bid
referendum' has been defined by the US as an 'independence
referendum' may as well be an action for the US to prepare for
ridding itself of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
"The US has been constrained by the TRA for years and faced with
much quibbling and protest from China. This has deeply affected the
broader US global strategy. In addition to being kidnapped by
Taiwan, the US side has already made many complaints [to Taiwan].
The US is only waiting for Taiwan to make violations so that it can
take the opportunity to get rid of Taiwan and the restraint of the
TRA. It can justifiably tell Congress, the media, and the public
that Taiwan, not the [U.S.] Executive Branch, is to blame. Taiwan's
violation is to 'declare independence' or make provocative moves.
"The US has deployed a trap in order to free itself by publicly
stating that the TRA protects a Taiwan of the status quo rather than
a Taiwan that declares independence, provokes China and brings war.
On the one hand, this is to warn the DPP authorities not to seek
trouble. On the other hand, this can be seen as a statement that
Taiwan's trespassing the red line is the premise for the US to shake
off its obligation to protect Taiwan. It is because Taiwan has
secretly substituted the object in the TRA. This Taiwan is no long
the original Taiwan as when the TRA was enacted. Then the US is
surely not obligated to protect an object that has become not
related to the TRA.
"This is the reason and schema in which the US defines the UN
referendum as an independence referendum. Following this US logic:
the UN referendum is equals a referendum on independence, equals a
Taiwan different from the one mentioned in the TRA, equals no
obligation for the US to protect Taiwan, equals a cross-Strait war
in which the US will not be involved, equals US-China relations
unaffected. Taiwan's security depends on entangling the US. How
can we let the US get away and China take advantage? It is too
dangerous. Do the Bian authorities realize this trap?"