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Cablegate: Media Reaction: China, Obama Administration;Berlin

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240937Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6135
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1855
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0577
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1093
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2598
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RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0783
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUKAAKC/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001623

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/CE, INR/EUC, INR/P,
SECDEF FOR USDP/ISA/DSAA, DIA FOR DC-4A

VIENNA FOR CSBM, CSCE, PAA

"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

SIPDIS

E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR CH GMUS
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: CHINA, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Chinese trial against dissident
3. China buys Volvo
4. Obama Administration

1. Lead Stories Summary

Primetime newscasts opened with stories on racing driver Michael
Schumacher's return to the Formula One. Newspapers led with diverse
domestic and international stories. Frankfurter Allgemeine: "Arrest
warrant against Khodorkovsky associate illegal," Sueddeutsche:
"Government wants to massively develop rail tracks," Die Welt:
"Koehler calls for more courage," Tagesspiegel: "Former terrorist
Verena Becker is free again," and Berliner Zeitung: "There is no
just war." Editorials focused on Christmas and the release of
former RAF terrorist Becker.

2. Chinese Trial against dissident

Under the headline "China's weakness," Frankfurter Allgemeine
opined: "Who is actually subverting China's state power? Is it Liu
Xiaobo, who, with many others, called for something in the Charta 08
that the Chinese constitution promises anyway? Or is it the Chinese
authorities, who always take arbitrary actions as soon as it hears
an independent voice? China pretends to be a modern state, and it
has come a long way economically, but the politicians are as weak
and fearful as the old men whose ousting we saw 20 years ago. This
historic experience is also a reason for the paranoia the leadership
has when it comes to political reforms. If a dictatorship tries to
reform itself without allowing questions about its power, it risks
to be overrun. As a result, it hides in the trenches of oppression,
which means that the feared consequences will happen even earlier."

Die Welt editorialized: "It is not a coincidence that the Chinese
judges will sentence the well-known dissident over Christmas. Liu
Xiaobo must expect his verdict on Christmas Day, after a
three-hour-long farce of a trial happened one day before Christmas
eve... His crime is honesty. He was one of the people who
initiated the Charta 08 for democracy.... But the Chinese
dictatorship is only opening up the market, not the personal freedom
of its citizens. On the contrary, it is increasingly brutal in its
approach against those who call for human rights and the rights laid
down in the constitution. In the shadow of the Christmas holidays,
the Beijing elite believes it can sentence its most dangerous
dissident. This must not succeed. The 53-year-old Liu has
prominent supporters.... More must happen; politicians must not
plunge into Christmas lethargy. Sharp protests and threats to
impose economic sanctions are necessary to rescue Liu. Twenty
years ago, the protests of the students were brutally ended in
Beijing and elsewhere in the country. At the time, Liu was in
prison without a trial for 18 months. History must not be
repeated."

3. China buys Volvo

Many media reported that Ford is about to sell carmaker Volvo to
China. Frankfurter Allgemeine noted in a front-page editorial: "The
Americans are going, and the Chinese are coming. This is one of the
messages, which is not just true for the automobile sector. This is
a turn of an era for the global economy, which politicians must
focus on. China's state capitalism does not just fund America's
deficits, but it has been investing for years into securing
resources and acquiring technologies. While the Chinese pursue a
forward-minded economic strategy, and also invest money in it,
Western nations use billions of taxpayers' money to secure bonuses
for people who have driven our economy into bankruptcy."

4. Obama Administration


BERLIN 00001623 002 OF 002


Under the headline "The President who loves deadlines," Frankfurter
Allgemeine opined: "Indeed, some degree of disillusion, if not even
disappointment was inevitable after the high over the power change
in the White House because the Congress' business as usual is
demonstrating its persistence against Obama's slogan of change.
Obama's disenchantment was aggravated by his love for deadlines and
timetables, which then pass unsuccessfully or must be changed...
The first deadline Obama set on the second day of his office was the
closure of Guantanamo on January 22, 2010. It became clear soon
after that the President would not reach his own goal.... Obama
also set such tremendously ambitious goals for himself and the world
in foreign and security policy that he will not achieve all of
them... Experts of contemporary history are warning Obama that he
will pay a high price for setting deadlines so easily."

Frankfurter Rundschau editorialized: "This is the year of
disappointments. The arc goes from Washington and Oslo to Kabul and
Copenhagen, from Obama's inauguration to the Nobel Peace Prize
ceremony, the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the debacle of the
global climate conference. Instead of blaming the U.S. President
for it, those who are disappointed should rather admit that they
deceived themselves and cherished their illusions."

DELAWIE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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