Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations, North Korea


DE RUEHIN #1030/01 2370949
R 250949Z AUG 09




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage August 25 on two more confirmed deaths linked to the H1N1
virus, on the threat posed by the H1N1 epidemic to the ongoing
rescue and relief efforts in the disaster zones caused by Typhoon
Morakot, and on the reconstruction and rebuilding plans in the
disaster zones. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a column
in the mass-circulation "Apple Daily" said the Ma Ying-jeou
administration's decision to accept foreign aid in the wake of
Typhoon Morakot was evidence that the administration sees its
relations with China outweighing its relations with the United
States. Based on the fact that the Ma administration quickly
welcomed aid from China and declined aid from the United States, the
column asserts that there is a lack of enthusiasm in Taiwan's
relations with the United States. A column in the KMT-leaning
"China Times" commented on the latest interactions between North
Korea and South Korea amid the funeral of former South Korean
President Kim Dae-jung. The column said the North Korean delegation
was there more than to just attend the funeral. The North Korean
delegation was actually a special envoy sent by North Korean leader
Kim Jong-il to deliver Kim Jong-il's messages to South Korea, the
column claimed. Kim Jong-il's willingness to improve relations with
South Korea is due to his concern about his relations with the
United States. End summary.

2. U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

"New Strategic Choice"

Columnist Antonio Chiang wrote in his column in the mass-circulation
"Apple Daily" [circulation: 520,000] (8/25):

"... [Taiwan President] Ma Ying-jeou endeavors to reach cross-Strait
reconciliation. [Ma] purposely cold-shoulders [Taiwan's] relations
with Japan. [Ma] maintains normal relations with the United States
in a courteous manner. The same as before, [Ma] requests arms sales
[from the United States]. Nevertheless, experts all know that there
is no enthusiasm between Taiwan and the United States anymore except
for the routine daily issues. There are changes in the relations
between the United States and Taiwan. However, it is like
entertainers who shift their love to different people but cannot
make it public; otherwise they will lose [money at] the box office.
The flooding [from Typhoon Morakot] revealed the changes in the
triangular relations between the United States, China and Taiwan.
It was the National Security Council (NSC) that decided to decline
aid offered by the United States. The National Security Council
[would not] dare to take the responsibility and passed off the
responsibility to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). However,
[National Security Council Secretary-General] Su Chi immediately
welcomed the aid offered by China. In between the cold and warm,
the Ma administration's strategic thinking is revealed, which is
leaning toward China. However, fearing the pressure of public
opinion, [the Ma administration] can only cover it up [its tilt
towards China] and continue to crawl forward.

"The United States sent military aircraft to Taiwan to help the
rescue and relief efforts, which is a big gesture. Such a move was
not something that could solely be guided by the United States
Pacific Command. Just like China, [the United States] offered its
aid in the name of humanitarianism. Nevertheless, due to the
long-term confrontation across the Strait, there is insufficient
mutual trust in diplomatic and military affairs. Taiwan's society
still strongly opposes letting MiG aircraft land in Taiwan. Ma
Ying-jeou's National Security Council has already made its new
strategic choice, but it still let the United States military land
in Taiwan much earlier than China's. Ma's team can only express its
regret to Beijing privately. ..."

3. North Korea

"North Korea's Condolence Delegation Is Actually the Special Envoy

The "International Lookout" column in the KMT-leaning "China Times"
[circulation: 120,000] wrote (8/25):

"... Why did [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-il have such a swift
change in his attitude toward South Korea? This is absolutely
related to North Korea's U.S. policy. It is either that the United
States has persuaded North Korea to [improve] relations with South
Korea, or North Korea wants to [improve] relations with South Korea
in order to develop relations with the United States. In other
words, the development in relations between North Korea and the
United States' Obama administration has become the core of the North
Korean nuclear issue. If South Korea fully supports the United
States' position, the United States would not need to seek anyone's
pardon for signing any agreement with North Korea. Regardless of
Russia and Japan, even China can only accept [such a possibility].
However, the United States will not carry out [bilateral talks with
North Korea] in the open. [The United States] will still want the

cover provided by the six-party talks."


© Scoop Media

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