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Cablegate: Campaign "Dirty Tricks;" the Kmt Asks: "What Can the Dpp Do

VZCZCXRO0869
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHIN #2654/01 3620832
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280832Z DEC 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7681
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7590
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 1560
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 2281
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 6251
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0743
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8861

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 002654

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AIT/W, EAP/TC, INR/EAP

FROM AIT KAOHSIUNG BRANCH OFFICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV TW
SUBJECT: CAMPAIGN "DIRTY TRICKS;" THE KMT ASKS: "WHAT CAN THE DPP DO
THIS TIME?"


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

REF: A) Taipei 2379 B) Taipei 1565 C) Taipei 1457 D) Taipei 1382
E) Taipei 520 F)2006 Taipei 4152 G) 2005 Taipei 3793

1. (SBU) In southern Taiwan the greatest fear of the ruling DPP is
always that its supporters will not come out to vote on election day
due to apathy or disillusionment with the party. Conversely, the
biggest fear of the KMT is that the DPP will launch a last-minute
"surprise" to bring its voters to the polls. In order to minimize
the effectiveness of possible last-minute DPP campaign tactics, the
KMT Kaohsiung City office has compiled and is widely distributing a
list of possible "dirty tricks" it claims the DPP might deploy to
help it win the upcoming March 2008 presidential election.

Comment
-------

2. (SBU) A key KMT LY member and advisor to Ma confirmed in Taipei
that the party had been canvassing supporters for "ideas" but
acknowledged that these were not necessarily based on either facts
or analysis. He said that "once bitten by a snake, one becomes
fearful of even a rope." Recently, the KMT's Organization
Development Committee set up an "Election Dirty Tricks Research
Institute" to collect suggestions from local KMT branches and
individuals on possible "dirty tricks" that the DPP might play in
the upcoming elections. On December 18 KMT Headquarters issued a
list of 15 general types of tricks, which summarized the 143
specific tricks collected by the party. Most of the suggestions in
the Kaohsiung list fall into the categories of the 15-point summary
list prepared by KMT Headquarters. In addition to Kaohsiung, we
have heard about other KMT branches, for example, Hsinchu, preparing
similar lists of possible election tricks, but not necessarily for
public distribution.

3. (SBU) Following is the Kaohsiung KMT-compiled list of alleged
DPP conspiracies:

(A) Manipulation of Taiwan Identity: Broadcasting widely on the
underground radio stations in southern Taiwan that KMT presidential
candidate Ma Ying-jeou was born in Hong Kong and is not an
"indigenous Taiwanese." This would mobilize "national identity"
advocates to rush out and vote to protect Taiwan.

(B) Manipulation of Underground Bookies: Use bookies to influence
and encourage bettors that placing money on the DPP Hsieh-Su ticket
is the safer wager.

(C) Creating Fake Traffic Accidents: Hire con artists or jobless
people claiming to be Ma Ying-jeou supporters to create fake traffic
accidents involving the DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh, his
campaign aides, or even President Chen's motorcade to stimulate
voter sympathy for a DPP presidential candidate "under attack" by
the KMT.

(D) Creating Fake Poison Incidents: Hire con artists or jobless
people claiming to be Ma Ying-jeou supporters to create fake poison
incidents that affect Frank Hsieh or his assistants when they eat at
local food establishments. This will stimulate voter sympathy for a
DPP presidential candidate "under attack" by the KMT.

(E) Use of Magic or Witchcraft: Use religious magic or witchcraft
to give Frank Hsieh special power to put a spell on Ma Ying-jeou
while shaking Ma's hand. The spell would cause Ma to make mistakes
or misspeak as he campaigns for the presidency. This conspiracy
theory is based on Frank Hsieh's earlier allegiance to a powerful
Taoist religious leader who was later arrested for fraud and
embezzlement.

(F) Assassination Plot against Presidential Candidates: Replay the
2004 presidential election "3/19 assassination" plan to fake an
assassination attempt on Ma Ying-jeou or Frank Hsieh. The DPP would
then publicize the incident as a PRC conspiracy in order to force a
suspension or postponement of the presidential election.

(G) Fomenting Chaos on Election Day: Use fake ballots to rig votes
in KMT-ruled cities/counties to incite chaos or riots among the
people and provide an excuse to hold a supplemental election.

(H) Releasing News about a Critical Illness of the First Lady:

TAIPEI 00002654 002 OF 002


Release TV news of the hospitalization of the First Lady. This
scenario would feature the First Lady telephoning from her ambulance
cot on the way to the hospital in support of Frank Hsieh.
Meanwhile, President Chen would continue diligently campaigning
rather than accompany his ill wife in a last-minute attempt to
inspire voters to turn out at the polls.

(I) Creating Hatred Between the Cross-strait People: Arrest or even
shoot Chinese fishermen fishing illegally in Taiwan's waters to stir
up animosity among Taiwanese and motivate them to come out to vote
for the DPP.

(J) Generating Fears of Oppression by the U.S. and China: Prior to
the election, use the UN referendum issue to provoke U.S. and PRC
action by raising their concern over Taiwan independence. On the
eve of the election, fabricate a kidnapping incident involving the
DPP presidential or vice-presidential candidate (or their wives),
leaving clues that would implicate the U.S. or China. This type of
action would promote "Taiwan identity" and possibly lead to the
suspension of the election or the establishment of martial law.

(K) Raise the "China Threat": Hold a military exercise to provoke
China into a strong reaction. If China does not respond, the DPP
would boast about its capability to contend with China. President
Chen could also use this scenario to negotiate with the U.S. for
political asylum to avoid being indicted after he steps down.

(L) Conviction of Ma and Hsieh: Manipulate the judiciary to convict
Ma Ying-jeou and Frank Hsieh on current corruption allegations,
leaving President Chen's favorite, Su Tseng-chang, to run against
Vincent Siew and win the presidency.

(M) Restaging the Kaohsiung Vote-Buying Incident: Restage a
vote-buying incident similar to the one in the December 2006 last
Kaohsiung mayoral election (reftels) to accuse the KMT of vote
buying in order to shift the support of swing voters from the KMT to
the DPP.

(N) Faking a Scandalous Story about Ma Ying-jeou: Aim to destroy
KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's clean image by having a
woman carrying a child hold a press conference right before the
election accusing Ma of fathering the child.

(O) Forging Messages from a God or Goddess: Spread forged divine
messages from deities through various local temples to say the gods
have divined that Frank Hsieh would be the next President.

(P) Creating another "228 Incident": On election day, arrange a
conflict between elderly "ben-sheng" (Taiwanese) and "wai-sheng"
(mainlanders), spreading the rumor on underground radios that
"elderly Taiwanese men are being beaten up by mainlanders" as a
means to get-out-the-vote.

Thiele

Young

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