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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Haiti, U.S.-Japan Security Treaty

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #0091/01 0211156
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211156Z JAN 10
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3169
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9636
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1020

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000091

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: HAITI, U.S.-JAPAN SECURITY TREATY

1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage January 21 on the aftermath of Prosecutor-General Chen
Tsung-ming's resignation Tuesday; on the legislative by-election
slated for the end of February; on the rescue and relief efforts in
earthquake-stricken Haiti; and on developments in cross-Strait
relations. Nearly all major Chinese-language papers reported on a
Taiwan military C-130 cargo plane, which they said has, for the
first time, made refueling stops in the United States en route to
Haiti for rescue and relief efforts. The pro-unification "United
Daily News" ran a front-page news story with the headline reading
"Humanitarian [Assistance] Comes First and a Diplomatic
Breakthrough, Taiwan's Military Aircraft Refuels at U.S. Base en
Route to Haiti."

2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a column in the
mass-circulation "Apple Daily" discussed the U.S. rescue and relief
efforts in Haiti and said the U.S. military really had no
alternative but to intervene forcefully during the time of a power
vacuum in Haiti. A column in the KMT-leaning "China Times" and an
editorial in the pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News"
both discussed the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of
Mutual Cooperation and Security. The "Taiwan News" editorial said
the "importance of the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance now lies
primarily in safeguarding East Asia from the growing military threat
posed by the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party-ruled PRC and
move the Marine air forces on Futenma to a site 300 kilometers
closer to Taiwan and the China mainland will undoubtedly send a
major political signal to Beijing." End summary.

3. Haiti

"Having the Foreign Minister Personally Assume Command of Rescue
Relief Operations?"

Columnist Antonio Chiang wrote in his column in the mass-circulation
"Apple Daily" [circulation: 520,000] (1/21):

"In its history, the United States has sent troops to Haiti many
times. This time, Washington has again dispatched huge military
forces to Haiti, immediately taking control over the airport and the
Presidential Office [of Haiti] and scarcely paying any attention to
the U.N. peacekeeping force, as if it leaped at the chance to occupy
the nation. Such mighty actions have drawn quite a lot of ridicule
and criticism [for the United States]. Nonetheless, it has been for
some time that Haiti is without a government, and without [the
United States' moves] to maintain public order, it would be unlikely
for international rescue and relief operations to start [in Haiti].
Disaster rescue and relief operations are like combat operations.
During the time of a power vacuum, the U.S. military really had no
alternative but to intervene forcefully and [help] manage [Haiti]
for the Haitian government. For the rescue and relief efforts [in
Haiti] this time, the United States has been leading the way [among
the countries] in the world in donating money and providing
assistance. Secretary Hillary Clinton even went so far as to visit
Haiti herself. She and [former President] Bill Clinton spent their
honeymoon in Haiti, so they have special feelings for this country.
..."

4. U.S.-Japan Security Treaty

A) "The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Amendments to U.S.-Japan Treaty
of Mutual Cooperation and Security"

The "International Lookout" column in the KMT-leaning "China Times"
[circulation: 120,000] wrote (1/21):

"It has been fifty years since the amendments were made to the
U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Not only did
the foreign ministers and defense ministers from the United States
and Japan issue a joint statement [on January 19], but Japan's Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama also gave remarks [on the topic]. As
previously discussed by this column, such practices were a fabulous
show put up under pressure by the United States. Are the facts
behind the scenes really the same as what is shown to the public?
...

"Washington wanted to seize this opportunity to stress that Japan's
security cannot be sustained without the United States and that the
United States is indispensible in the region. Or else what is the
need to publicize the fiftieth anniversary of the treaty? Japan, on
the other hand, wanted to seize this opportunity to emphasize its
value for future cooperation [with the United States]. As a result,
now it is still too early to determine the future direction of
U.S.-Japan relations. ..."

B) "Taiwan and the Future in the U.S.-Japan Alliance"

The pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News" [circulation:
30,000] editorialized (1/21):

"On January 19, 1960, the U.S. and Japan signed a far reaching
'U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security' over the
intense opposition of opposition lawmakers and violent
demonstrations by leftist labor and student organizations. ... The
importance of the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance now lies primarily in
safeguarding East Asia from the growing military threat posed by the
authoritarian Chinese Communist Party-ruled PRC and move the Marine
air forces on Futenma to a site 300 kilometers closer to Taiwan and
the China mainland will undoubtedly send a major political signal to
Beijing. Only last week, Beijing protested angrily over
Washington's decision to sell advanced Patriot III-C anti-missile
missiles to Taiwan and evidently believes that this procurement is
part of a scheme to link Japan, South Korea and Taiwan into an East
Asian theatre anti-missile defensive network aimed at the PRC, which
itself has deployed well over one thousand missiles in its coastal
provinces targeted at Taiwan.

"Although the joint statement made no explicit mention of Taiwan,
its affirmation that the alliance is founded on the basis of common
values of 'democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law' and
the planned forward strategic redeployment indicates that both Obama
and Hatoyama realize that it is necessary to hedge the risk that the
PRC will decide not to "play a constructive and responsible role in
the international arena" despite their differences with more
conservative predecessors. However, a new source of uncertainty
lies within Taiwan itself. If the restored 'former authoritarian'
rightist Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government of
President Ma Ying-jeou draws increasingly closer to the PRC, Taiwan
may find itself turning into a gap in the U.S.-Japan security
network instead of an unacknowledged partner in this democratic
alliance."

STANTON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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