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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1770 3580756
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230756Z DEC 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0616
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8814
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0274

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001770

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: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused December
23 news coverage on the arrival in Taiwan of two giant pandas from
China; on the island's unemployment rate, which hit a five-year high
in November; on the recently concluded forum between the KMT and the
Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai; and on the continuous probe
into the former First Family of Taiwan's alleged money laundering
cases. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a column in the
centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times" discussed possible changes in
U.S.-China relations in the wake of the financial crisis. The
article urged Taiwan to calmly contemplate its role in the new and
changing Washington-Beijing ties. End summary.

"Sino-U.S. Relations under the Onslaught of [Financial] Tsunami"

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Kuo Chen-lung wrote in the "International
Column" in the centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times" [circulation:
200,000] (12/23):

"... Ever since the tensions across the Taiwan Strait began to ease,
fundamental changes have occurred in relations between the United
States and China. Given that the chances for military conflict
between Washington and Beijing over Taipei have been eliminated, [it
is likely that] the United States and China will cooperate more
with, rather than compete against, each other. Yet new and
unprecedentedly complicated changes have arisen in terms of
U.S.-China relations in the wake of the onslaught of the financial
tsunami, with some bilateral issues easy to resolve while others are
not, depending on the political considerations of the moment.

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"The new [cross-Strait] direction adopted by the Ma Ying-jeou
administration has freed Taiwan from being sandwiched between the
United States and China, which are hostile toward each other. But
as the ten economic incentives were announced at the [recently
concluded] forum between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party,
and as Taiwan is about to strengthen its economic and trade
relations with mainland China, Taiwan has again fallen into a new
dilemma -- namely, is Taiwan buying insurance as a preventive
measure against [possible] economic depression in the United, or has
it been unconsciously dragged into the unpredictable economic
conflicts between the United States and China? This is a question
that Taiwan needs to calmly contemplate."

YOUNG

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