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Cablegate: Kmt Stumps for Votes at Dongguan Tba Celebration

VZCZCXRO2889
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHGZ #1265/01 3380800
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 040800Z DEC 07
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6710
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GUANGZHOU 001265

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM AND EAP/TC

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EINV CH TW
SUBJECT: KMT Stumps for Votes at Dongguan TBA Celebration


(U) This document is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: Clearly Dongguan in Guangdong Province - China's
furniture capital, a city of 7-8 million people with over 6,000
Taiwan businesses - is rooting for Ma Ying-jeou and the Kuomintang
in the 2008 Presidential elections in Taiwan. The 14th anniversary
of the Dongguan Taiwan Businessmen Association (TBA) November 30 was
a lavish celebration of what one attendee called a "positive"
approach to cross-Strait ties; Ma Yi-nan, Ma Ying-jeou's elder
sister, delivered a "check" to be cashed by Taiwan business on the
mainland, calling for movement toward the three direct links within
a year of Ma's assuming the presidency. KMT Vice Chair Chiang
Pin-kun encouraged Dongguan's business leaders to participate in the
upcoming Taiwan elections; other mainland officials, including the
director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of Economic Development,
called for attendees to strengthen cross-Strait ties. End summary.

2. (U) Leaders of Taiwan's KMT, Taiwan business leaders from across
China, and Chinese government officials attended the Dongguan TBA's
extravagant celebration of its 14th anniversary on November 30.
Banners waving, businesspeople a-marching to the tune of slightly
martial music, salutes and sashes a-plenty, the event featured the
installation of a new chairman - furniture and real estate magnate
Andrew Yeh replacing furniture and real estate magnate Samuel Kuo.
The Dongguan TBA is the largest in China with over 3,600 members out
of 6,000 Taiwan-invested enterprises in the city. Taiwan
enterprises in Dongguan account for as much as ten percent of the
total number on the mainland by some estimates - and on their minds
this time around were new mainland regulations that could force some
of them to relocate production lines elsewhere as the PRC seeks to
move toward higher-technology, upstream business operations in the
Pearl River Delta.

KMT's Election Campaign Extends to Dongguan
-------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) During the celebration, Ma Yi-nan, KMT Presidential
Candidate Ma Ying-jeou's elder sister, presented a symbolic check
signed by Ma Ying-jeou and his KMT running-mate Vincent Siew. The
symbolic check, to be cashed upon Ma Ying-jeou's election, is a
promise to fully implement the three direct links within one year of
taking office. Included as well would be weekend charter flights
and a bilateral aviation agreement. Ma Yi-nan was accompanied at
the event by KMT Vice Chair Chiang Pin-kun, KMT Legislator Chu
Feng-Chih, and New Party Chair Yok Mu-ming. No representatives from
Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) attended - nor does it
seem they would have been all that welcome.

4. (SBU) KMT Vice Chair Chiang Pin-kun, who was in Dongguan for his
third TBA anniversary meeting, described the next year as a critical
time for cross-Strait relations. He was pretty direct in what could
only be described as a rally-the-troops campaign speech, calling
Taiwan's upcoming legislative and presidential elections a choice
over whether cross-Strait relations would be characterized by "peace
and prosperity" or "tension and recession." Chiang exhorted (as
much as he could in his low key manner) Taiwan residents on the
mainland to participate in the elections.

Chinese officials Call for Stronger Cross-Strait Ties
--------------------------------------------- --------

5. (SBU) Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) officials, quoting from Hu
Jintao's recent 17th Party Congress Report, called for the support
of Taiwan business leaders to strengthen cross-Strait ties and
oppose Taiwan independence. Guangdong Provincial TAO Director
General Chen Guoxin said 1.3 billion people on the mainland and 23
million on Taiwan are part of a single entity and should work
hand-in-hand to strengthen the Chinese nation. Other Chinese
officials at the event included Xu Mang, Director-General of the
Economic Bureau of the State Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), Liang
Yaowen, Director-General of Guangdong Department of Foreign Trade
and Economic Cooperation, Liu Zhigeng, Party Secretary of Dongguan,
and Xing Kuisheng, Taiwan Affairs Director of the Central CPC's
Liaison Office in Hong Kong. Xing told the Consul General that
Taiwan businesspeople in Hong Kong looked forward to the end of an
era in which Chen Shuibian had created "problems" for them in their
dealings with mainland officials. When the CG asked him to
elaborate on that statement with specific examples, Xing declined.

Comment - Taiwan Investors Say Little on Politics
--------------------------------------------- ----

6. (SBU) Both the Chinese government and the KMT seized this

GUANGZHOU 00001265 002 OF 002


opportunity to promote their political interests. In contrast,
Taiwan businesspeople and investors were largely silent on political
issues during remarks at the event, choosing instead to focus on
business opportunities and business problems caused by new PRC
regulations; still it was clear that they preferred a Ma victory
even if they were not critical of Frank Hsieh. It is unlikely that
many will actually make the trip back to Taiwan to cast votes in
January and March.

GOLDBERG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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