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Cablegate: Media Reaction: President Ma Ying-Jeou's Overseas Trip

VZCZCXYZ0020
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1206 2260802
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130802Z AUG 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9744
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8533
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9740

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001206

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: MEDIA REACTION: PRESIDENT MA YING-JEOU'S OVERSEAS TRIP

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused August 13
news coverage on a Taiwan weightlifter, who grabbed the island's
second bronze at the Beijing Olympics Tuesday; on President Ma
Ying-jeou's first trip overseas and his transit stops in the United
States; and on the chaos in South Ossetia. An editorial in the
conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
discussed President Ma's "low-key" visit overseas and his transits
in the United States. The article said "as long as President Ma
remains low-key on his U.S. stopovers, Washington will probably not
give Ma the cold shoulder when he makes future requests to transit
U.S. territory." End summary.

"Ma's Trip Truly 'Low Key'?"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (8/13):

"... All eyes will also be on President Ma so see how well, or
poorly, he is treated during his stopovers in the United States. ...
In our opinion, as long as President Ma remains low-key on his U.S.
stopovers, Washington will probably not give Ma the cold shoulder
when he makes future requests to transit U.S. territory. And as
long as President Ma continues pursuing a pragmatic policy of
seeking peaceful ties and negotiations with the mainland in addition
to nurturing foreign allies, Washington is not likely to place any
obstacles before Ma when traveling through the U.S. on his way to
other places. If things go well on this trip, it is conceivable
that the United States will even welcome Ma to stay for a day or two
in high-profile U.S. cities, such as New York, on his way in and out
of America. President Ma might even someday have the chance to stay
a couple days in his old haunt of Boston, where he attended law
school and worked as a legal intern at a major bank before returning
to Taiwan in the early 1980s."

YOUNG

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