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Cablegate: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1170 2210643
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080643Z AUG 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9701
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8514
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9729

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001170

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: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused August 8
news coverage on the Beijing Olympic Games; on the Lobbying Act
coming into effect in Taiwan on Friday; and on Taiwan's inflation
and rising commodity prices. Both the pro-unification "United Daily
News" and centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times" had extensive reports
on United States President George W. Bush and other world leaders'
arrival in Beijing. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an
editorial in the pro-independence "Liberty Times" responded to
Bush's reiteration of commitment to peace and security across the
Taiwan Strait, which Bush made in Bangkok on Thursday. The
editorial said that it is President Ma Ying-jeou, who is the person
changing the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The editorial
therefore urged the United States to see the reality before it is
too late. End summary.

"The Ma Administration Is Joining Hands with China to Change the
Status Quo across the Taiwan Strait"

The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000]
editorialized (8/8):

"... Before heading China to attend the Beijing Olympic Games
opening ceremony, [President George W.] Bush's reiteration of the
firm commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act was apparent to the
Chinese leaders' ears. As we still remember, in a speech delivered
in the United States at the end of July, Chinese Foreign Minister
Yang Jiechi emphasized that no matter how cross-Strait relations
develop, the one-China principle will never change, and there cannot
be any changes to the principles in the three communiques. Yang
apparently intended to show his lofty stance to the United States
government. However, Bush's remarks yesterday were equivalent to
negating Yang's tentative messages, meaning that the Taiwan issue is
not [solely] decided by China. ...

"If [Taiwan] President Ma Ying-jeou's pro-China roadmap continues to
be implemented, not only will Taiwan's sovereignty be gradually
eroded, the United States' 'one-China policy' will be shaken. That
is why United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave the Ma
administration warnings that although the United States hopes
cross-Strait relations improve, the United States has relations with
Taiwan as well. Furthermore, Bush himself publicly stated the
[United States'] commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act. Thus,
the United States is by no means unaware of the possibility that the
status quo of Taiwan's sovereignty might change.

"On the other hand, the Ma administration's pro-China roadmap, which
has been in effect for more than two months, has created challenges
for the United States. The United States' consistent policy is that
neither side of the Taiwan Strait should change the status quo
unilaterally, which Bush reiterated once again yesterday. However,
the problem is that President Ma, who insists on moving toward
ultimate unification [with China], is constantly downgrading
[Taiwan's] national sovereignty and getting close to China. This
constitutes a danger, which is the KMT's and the Chinese Communist
Party's joint intention to change the status quo across the Taiwan
Strait. Therefore, Bush statement that 'we are witnessing a new
period of stability and peace,' is actually a pernicious development
that threatens the United States' interests in the western Pacific.
...

"In the last two months, Ma advocates 'no unification, no
independence and no use of force' and claims to be a 'peace-maker.'
However, judging from Ma's deeds, it is true [that Ma] does not want
independence and it is false [that Ma] does not want unification.
[Ma's] policy of easing regulations regarding [Taiwan enterprises']
investment [in China] is nothing but locking Taiwan up in China and
fulfilling [the goal] that 'Taiwan is part of China.' We have to
remind [our] American friends. If [the United States] regards the
person who tried hard in the last few years to normalize Taiwan as a
state as a trouble-maker, while regarding capitulationism in pursuit
of ultimate unification as being advantageous to allay the tension
across the Taiwan Strait, [the United States] would make be making
the mistake of considering the alarm before the storm as good news.
Once the Ma administration sends Taiwan into China's jaws of death,
there will be no hope of maintaining Taiwan's democracy and
security."

YOUNG

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