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

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0989 2260526
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140526Z AUG 09 ZDK
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2121
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9338
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0771

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000989

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/P, EAP/PD - THOMAS HAMM
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS

Summary: On August 14, the Taiwan media spotlight remained focused
on the damage caused by Typhoon Morakot and the on-going rescue
efforts in southern Taiwan. In terms of editorials and
commentaries, an op-ed in the pro-independence, English-language
"Taipei Times" expressed concern over the increasingly
interdependent relations between the United States and China and the
impact of such a development on Taiwan. The article said it is
doubtful that U.S. President Barack Obama, "surrounded by
China-leaning advisers," will have time to "digest Taiwan's complex
problems." As a result, the article urged that Taiwan's views and
concerns be presented to Obama as quickly as possible. End
summary.

"Risks of Obama Giving in to China"

Li Thian-hok, a freelance commentator based in Pennsylvania, opined
in the pro-independence, English-language "Taipei Times"
[circulation: 30,000] (8/14):

"... In his June 4 speech in Cairo, Obama eloquently extolled the
virtues of democracy, then followed with a caveat that 'there is no
straight line to realize this promise ... Each action gives life to
this principle (that governments should reflect the will of the
people) in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own
people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone.'
This language sounds like the excuses made by many authoritarian
regimes (see 'The abandonment of democracy,' by Joshua Muravchik,
published in the July/August issue of the Commentary). The
de-emphasis on promoting democracy, unfortunately, could also mean
that the Obama administration may not place much value on Taiwan's
democracy serving as a model for autocratic China.

"Lastly, President Ma Ying-jeou's pro-unification policies give
pro-China realists among the US policy establishment a convenient
pretext for dropping support for Taiwanese freedom. There is even
talk of a G2 cooperation, whereby Washington would cede control and
management of East Asian affairs to Beijing, thus pushing China
toward the path of military aggrandizement, unrestrained nationalism
and, eventually, confrontation with the US. So what is the danger
to Taiwan from the upcoming US-China summit? It is the possibility
that Obama may privately cave in to Hu and shift the US policy goal
dramatically from 'peaceful resolution' to 'peaceful unification.'
Alternatively, Obama may even openly endorse a peace accord between
Taiwan and China, an idea which both Beijing and Ma support. Either
event would signify the cessation of US support for Taiwan and
virtual abrogation of the Taiwan Relations Act. ...

"Obama is surrounded by China-leaning advisers and it is doubtful he
will have time to digest Taiwan's complex problems. His team
consists mainly of realists who regard democracy and human rights as
secondary considerations in conducting US diplomacy. So there are
ample reasons to present the Taiwanese views and concerns to Obama,
and to do so quickly. ... As was pointed out in the letter to
Obama, the US is vulnerable to a seminal geostrategic disaster in
East Asia. The US' national security and its democratic values both
call for unwavering support of Taiwan's freedom by reaffirming the
Taiwan Relations Act, strengthening trade relations and military
cooperation with Taiwan, and bolstering US naval and air presence in
the Western Pacific, as mandated in the Act."

WANG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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