DE RUEHIN #1290 2410936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280936Z AUG 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9855
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8561
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0008
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001290
DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - NIDA EMMONS
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS
Summary: As Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies continued to
focus news coverage August 28 on former President Chen Shui-bian and
his family members' alleged money laundering and insider trading
cases; and news reports about Beijing striking up its usual tune in
objecting to Taiwan's bid for UN participation also appeared in
nearly all Taiwan's papers. The pro-independence "Liberty Times,"
however, front-paged a banner headline reading "Ma [Ying-jeou]
Tilting toward China, and the United States Announces Its Position:
There Should Be No Hint that China Has Sovereignty over Taiwan."
According to the article, AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt expressed
the United States' positions and conveyed "two noes" to Taiwan in
August, namely that there should be no hint that China has
sovereignty over Taiwan, and that Beijing cannot have the final say
regarding any of Taiwan's participation or activities in the
international community. A "Liberty Times" analysis discussed the
U.S. position and said the imbalanced developments across the Taiwan
Strait has forced the United States to draw a red line. End
"Imbalanced Developments across the Taiwan Strait Forces the United
States to Draw a Red Line"
Journalist Su Yung-yao wrote in the pro-independence "Liberty Times"
[circulation: 700,000] (8/28):
"In the face of the Ma Ying-jeou Administration's rapid tilt toward
China, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice emphasized during an
interview in late June that, even though the United States
encourages developments in cross-Strait relations, she needs to
remind [the world] that 'it [the U.S.] has a relationship with
Taiwan as well.' It is evident nevertheless that Taipei has not
tried hard enough [in terms of its relations with Washington], or
even that [its actions] have gradually sabotaged the balance in the
Taiwan Strait, forcing the United States to address this.
"...If the former Bian Administration were deemed to be
over-maneuvering Taiwan's confrontation with China, then the current
Ma Administration could well be viewed as swinging to the other
extreme by seeking wholeheartedly a goodwill gesture from Beijing.
Such a trend also fails to tally with the U.S. perspective. ...
With regard to the 'two noes' message delivered by the United States
recently, it is akin to a step forward [by Washington] to draw a red
line. When [Washington says that], in terms of Taiwan's
[international] participation, there should be no hint that China
has sovereignty over Taiwan, it means to include both the name and
the way [Taiwan adopts] when [seeking to] participate in
[international] organizations. Also, [when Washington says that] it
is opposed to Beijing having the final say [regarding any of
Taiwan's activities in the international community], it means
involvement the process of how Taiwan participates in such
activities. As a matter of fact, the aforementioned contents were
meant not only for the ears of Taipei but also those of Beijing's.
"In the wake of the Beijing Olympics, cross-Strait relations will
get more complicated. China may act calmly and composedly [when
dealing with the cross-Strait relationship], but Washington will
certainly not keep mum about it. Besides, Taiwan's attitude is also
very important. Only when it is able to revise its policy strategy
of putting cross-Strait relations ahead of the island's foreign
relations and make the best use of key strengths such as [its
relationship with] the United States can Taiwan truly acquire an
important position in the international community."