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

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0069/01 0150918
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150918Z JAN 10
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3131
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9629
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1013

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000069

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: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies continued to focus
news coverage January 15 on the devastating earthquake that hit
Haiti Tuesday; on Google's threat to quit China; and on the year-end
five city and county magistrate elections in Taiwan. In terms of
editorials and commentaries, a column in the KMT-leaning "China
Times" and an op-ed in the China-focused "Want Daily" both discussed
China's recent testing of its missile defense system. The "China
Times" article said China's move is aimed at having a dialogue with
the United States on an equal footing, while the "Want Daily"
article said China is showing its ambition to possess both offensive
and defensive capabilities. An editorial in the conservative,
pro-unification, English-language "China Post" discussed an article
recently published by U.S. scholar Bruce Gillery on Taiwan being
"Finlandized." The article argued that President Ma Ying-jeou's
diplomatic truce policy is not equal to the "Finlandization" of
Taiwan, as Taipei "does not servilely cater to Beijing's whim in the
conviction that its people want above everything their country's
dignity as a sovereign state called the Republic of China." End
summary.

A) "[China's] Missile Interception Test Is Aimed at Seeking Dialogue
with the United States on an Equal Footing"

Journalist Qi Leyi wrote in the "Beijing Observation" column in the
KMT-leaning "China Times" [circulation: 120,000] (1/15):

"Beijing has made progress in its test of the ballistic missile
interception [technology] on Monday. In addition to the
breakthroughs in technology, the key significance of Beijing's test
this time lies in the fact that it was releasing a political signal,
telling the United States that on top of [China's influence in] the
economic domain, no one should underestimate Beijing's space combat
capability. Also, the move is an attempt by China to open the door
to engage in a dialogue with the United States on an equal footing
while the world is discussing the anti-missile topic. ...

"Some people believe that Beijing's proactive announcement of its
test of the mid-range missile interception [technology] is related
to Washington's recent decision to sell Taiwan the Patriot missile
system. Given Beijing's line of thinking, this may be true, but
[the protest against U.S. arms sales to Taiwan] may just be a
supplementary effect. Beijing's fundamental idea was to use the
global discussion of the anti-ballistic missiles to start a dialogue
with the United States. In terms of economic issues, it is evident
that the economic strengths of China and the United States are
coming closer to each other. At least in the eyes of the world, it
recognizes that China is a strong economic power. But when it comes
to major military security issues, China has received far less
'respect' from Washington than the respect Russia gets from the
United States; the gap gets even wider particularly when it comes to
the sphere of space [technology]. Beijing launched an
anti-satellite missile test in January, 2007, and that was a sign
foreshadowing China's eagerness to seek to have an equal dialogue
with the United States, or it will never be regarded as a real
strong power if it only has economic strength but no military power.
It is foreseeable that Beijing will conduct more and more similar
military tests in the future, until the United States recognizes
Beijing as its real rival."

B) "Having Possessed Spears, China Also Wants to Acquire Shields"

Alexander Huang from the Graduate Institute of International Affairs
and Strategic Studies, Tamkang University, opined in the
China-focused "Want Daily" [circulation: 10,000] (1/15):

"... China has successfully launched the test of its 'ground-based
mid-range missile interception technology' this week, ... which
showed that Beijing has made strides in its missile precision and
space weapon technology. Moreover, it is a declaration to the
international community that China, by holding the spear in one hand
and the shield in another, has the grand ambition to possess both
offensive and defensive capabilities."

C) "Taiwan Is Not Beijing 'Finlandized'"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (1/15):

"... Washington was peeved by the current beef war across the
Pacific. It decided to defer negotiations for a trade and
investment framework agreement with Taipei in retaliation for Taiwan
banning American ground beef and offal, but the trade conflict,
according to the U.S. State Department, does not affect the sales of
Patriot III ground-to-air missiles which Beijing strongly opposed.
President Ma has put in place a diplomatic truce between Taiwan and
China. It isn't the same as Finlandization. Taipei is cautious not
to offend Beijing on purpose. However, it doesn't servilely cater
to Beijing's every whim in the conviction that its people want above
everything their country's dignity as a sovereign state called the

Republic of China. Remember why the people are against the American
beef imports? Though mistakenly, they are calling a referendum to
revoke the beef protocol in order just to show their country isn't a
client state Uncle Sam can twist around his little finger. ..."

STANTON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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