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2004-10-07 08:11:00
American Institute Taiwan, Taipei
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 003129 SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/RSP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - ROBERT PALLADINO DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.-CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS A) "Disputes between Political Parties Should Not Surpass National Security" The pro-independence "Liberty Times" noted in an editorial (10/7): ". Democratic countries normally protect freedom of speech, and disputes between political parties are normal situations often seen [in democratic countries]. But national defense should be an issue of common language shared by all the people of the country. . Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Richard Lawless' speech underscored [our] American friends' thorough observations and concerns about Taiwan's political situation. To protect the lives and property of 23 million people and to safeguard Taiwan's independent sovereignty, we urge opposition party leaders to go beyond their position [that this is just] a dispute between parties and support the special arms budget. In this way we can demonstrate to the international community the Taiwan people's determination to defend the island and to show them that Taiwan is an asset rather than a liability in the democratic world." B) "Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Richard Lawless' Remarks Made at an Inappropriate Occasion" Journalist Lu Chao-lung commented in the "My Views" column of the centrist, pro-status quo "China Times" (10/7): ". Lawless is a Pentagon official in charge of Asia- Pacific defense affairs; he also has the authority to decide on issues concerning the Pacific Command. As Lawless is well versed in the United States' military deployment in the area, he is trying to remind Taiwan of the importance of these arms deals. He does not want to see Taiwan bungle and ruin the Pentagon's chess game. ". Lawless' strongly worded statements of course sounded very pleasant to the ears of American defense industry businessmen. What he said was also very true based on his duties and responsibilities. "Some Taiwan military leaders know Lawless well and believe he has a chance for promotion, but some others do not think so. No matter what, there will be a personnel reshuffle in the Pentagon after the U.S. presidential elections. Lawless' severe remarks on Taiwan's arms purchases have made him a big winner who is standing in an advantageous position." C) "An Imbalanced U.S. Policy and the Misled Taiwan People" Journalist Sun Yang-ming said in the conservative, pro- unification "United Daily News" (10/7): ". American sources that know the inside story said a balanced U.S. cross-Strait policy would be to `assist with Taiwan's self-defense capabilities militarily on one hand, and on the other hand, urge Taipei to engage in a dialogue with Beijing to reduce tensions across the Taiwan Strait.' ". Under such a concept, the arms procurements mentioned by Lawless . merely assumes the types and amount of weapons that Taiwan needs under a certain circumstance to maintain a balance [across the Taiwan Strait]. But it does not represent a political issue, such as whether both sides of the Taiwan Strait should resume dialogue. If people only see it from a single perspective, they will misinterpret the U.S. policy. . "If people inside Taiwan only take one side of the story, believing firmly that it represents an overall U.S. policy, and start to promote it, it might be false and seriously misleading to the Taiwan people." D) "Taiwan Has Strong Reasons to Hold Its Ground and Should Work Together to Speak out in Challenge of the International Community; the United States Which Honors Freedom of Speech Should Not Question Whether K.M. Koo's Advertisement Is `Political Means'" The pro-independence "Taiwan Daily" editorialized (10/7): ". Senior Presidential Advisor K.M. Koo paid for the advertisement out of his own pocket . doesn't such a move of idealism and enthusiasm deserve support from both the ruling and opposition parties in Taiwan? Just as Government Information Office Director-General Lin Chia-lung said, the United States is a country that honors freedom of speech, [so] it should not `make any associations' regarding Koo's advertisement. ". We believe that the relevant government agencies should consider condensing the contents of Koo's advertisement, printing it out as a position paper, and promoting it widely to the international community, [in order to] convey the Taiwan people's rejection of the ignorant and outdated `one-China policy.'" PAAL