wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
2005-01-18 23:51:00
American Institute Taiwan, Taipei
Cable title:  


Tags:   PREL  KPAO  TW 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 000203 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: PREL KPAO TW SUBJECT: "CHINA TIMES" ARTICLE DETAILING SENSITIVE DEALINGS BETWEEN TAIWAN AND THE UNITED STATES Summary: The centrist, pro-status quo Chinese-language "China Times" Sunday (1/16/05) carried an excerpt from a new book written by journalist Wang Ming-yi entitled "Dialogues and Confrontations: Political Competitions between Taiwan and China." In the excerpt, Wang describes a secret visit paid December 1, 2003, by then U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs James Moriarty to President Chen Shui- bian in which Moriarty handed Chen a letter written by President George W. Bush expressing his concern about Taiwan's referendum plans. The excerpt also discusses dealings between Taiwan and the United States before and after Taiwan's March 20 presidential elections. Full text translation of the article follows. "Moriarty Met With Bian and Said Strong Words; the [Atmosphere of] U.S.-Taiwan Mutual Trust Suddenly Changed. [Moriarty] Handed [Chen] a Letter Written by Bush, Persuading Taiwan to Stop Holding a Referendum on `Independence.' Moriarty and Bian Had a Huge Discrepancy in Their Perceptions; the Meeting Ended Unpleasantly, and the U.S-Taiwan Relationship Dropped to the Freezing Point" Journalist Wang Ming-yi wrote in the excerpt (1/16): "December 1, 2003, 110 days before the day for casting votes in the 2004 presidential election. Taipei City Chungching South Road, the Presidential Residence, the National Security Bureau Special Service Center and the Mt. Jade Residential Guard Office received an order to strictly control the personnel and vehicles coming in and out of the Presidential Residence, and to strengthen control of the situation on contiguous roads. The reason was because the Mt. Jade Residence was waiting for an 'important and mysterious' U.S. guest, who is not so friendly towards Taiwan. "He was said to be important because he was an `envoy on behalf of the [U.S.] President' sent by the White House; he was described as mysterious because Taiwan and the United States agreed not to reveal this secret schedule. On that day, National Security Council Consulti
ng Member Ke Cheng-heng welcomed the visitors in front of the Presidential Residence. Ke had accompanied the then `Legislator Chen Shui-bian' on a visit Beijing in the 1990s, and had become the major window for communication between Taiwan and the United States after the DPP became the ruling party. U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs James F. Moriarty entered the Mt. Jade Residence, accompanied by AIT Director Douglas H. Paal. "The identification of Moriarty for this trip was `special envoy of President George W. Bush,' and he brought a letter written by Bush. The purpose of that letter had not only the diplomatic intention to persuade Taiwan to refrain from holding a referendum, but also the intention, by chance, to put political pressure on Taiwan. "Bush in his letter explicitly expressed the United States' policy position that `[the United States] opposes either side of the Taiwan Strait unilaterally changing the status quo.' Regarding Taiwan's push for a sensitive and provocative referendum, [the letter] even explicitly expressed [the position] that the United States was not willing to see and would not support Taiwan holding the referendum that would `lead to Taiwan independence.' At the same time, Bush reiterated the United States' `One China' policy and expressed the attitude that the United States was looking forward to [both sides of the Strait] peacefully solving the Taiwan Strait dispute. "Presidential Office Spokesman James Huang, who had been in the foreign service, said in regard to Moriarty's visit to Taiwan that: 'for the last two days, no U.S. government or AIT official has entered the Presidential Office.' Huang did not lie, because Moriarty actually did not enter the Presidential Office, but the Mt. Jade Presidential Residence instead. "The unpleasant secret meeting became the critical turning point in the relationship of mutual trust between Taiwan-U.S. high-ranking officials [and caused the relationship] to fall to its lowest point in history. "The critical factor of the unpleasant meeting between Chen and Moriarty was that Moriarty's `perception of [his] role' differed greatly from that of Chen's. Taiwan's decision-making staff considered that Moriarty ``expressed too many `personal opinions,' beyond the policy information that President Bush wanted to express.'' "U.F.O Broadcasting Company Manager Jaw Shaw-kong, in a TV debate on the referendum before the presidential election, quoted internal documents from [Taiwan's] National Security Council and revealed that Moriarty, before the meeting with Chen, made a harsh criticism: `If you really think that [everything] is okay so long as you don't change the national flag, the name of the country, and the territory -- you are wrong. Doing so will bring about the deaths of U.S. soldiers in the Taiwan Strait, and we don't want to pay that price. The defensive referendum has no other purpose but to be provocative. The referendum merely wants to show that Chen Shui-bian can challenge China. To demand that China remove its ballistic missiles, however, will end up causing negative effects.' "Actually, the document that Jaw quoted was not the real copy of the conversation between Chen Shui-bian and Moriarty. What Jaw quoted was a compilation of the talks between [Taiwan's] National Security Council core staff, Moriarty, incumbent National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Michael Green, and Green's deputy Ford Hart not long after Moriarty left Taiwan and after `the meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and China's Premier Wen Jiabao.' Moriarty, Green, and Hart, with regard to Chen Shui- bian's policy direction and electoral language, proposed direct and harsh `warnings' to Taiwan National Security Council officials that "the formerly `one side, one country' [formula] proposed by the Taiwan leader is an obvious example [of unpleasant surprises]. For the past few months, Taiwan has kept on giving us `surprises,' and anyone could consider that Taiwan's political purpose is to change Taiwan's status quo." [The U.S. officials also warned that] "You cannot consider that you can do anything except for the `Five Nos.' If you make other moves, there will still be conflicts." "We do not trust the leaders of Taiwan too much. I [Moriarty] went to Taipei three times. President Chen listened to my opinion the first time; [he listened to me] a little the second time; [he listened to me] not at all the third time. You still insist on taking that route. We are so worried about what the Taiwan government plans to do, and this is why my president is so worried. He is worried that there will be another conflict.' "National security staff of the Chen Shui-bian administration judged that the keynote of President Bush's remarks at the `Bush-Wen meeting' was a `script' directly drafted by Moriarty alone. Chen's diplomatic staff recalled later: `During that period of time, Taiwan took a lot of beatings from Moriarty but was unable to talk about them. But the situation got better after Moriarty was transferred.' Chen had also told his staff that `Green should be a better person than Moriarty!' "Taiwan evidently stood in an unfavorable position with regard to the competition between Washington, Beijing and Taipei before and after the `Bush-Wen meeting.' But Washington's and Beijing's doubts about Chen had not been successfully removed even after Chen's re- election. Washington and Beijing even matched each other's strength in private [at that time]. "Sources said the reason why Beijing indicated in its `March 26 announcement' that it `will not sit back with its hands off' if Taiwan's situation gets out of control was mainly because Beijing had seen AIT Chair Therese Shaheen say in Washington that the United States would deliver a congratulatory message to Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu after the Taiwan authorities formally announced their re-election. [For Beijing,] the move was evidently an attempt `to interfere with Taiwan's domestic affairs' while the election disputes on the island were not yet settled. As a result, Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office acted quickly to issue the [March 26] statement, a move that seized the opportunity to counter Washington's efforts to quickly `acknowledge' Chen's re-election. "Two days prior to the March 19 shootings [of Chen and Lu], AIT Taipei Deputy Director David J. Keegan called the then Taiwan Presidential Office Secretary-General Joseph Wu and KMT Chairman Office Director Ting Yuean- chao, respectively. Keegan said under the State Department's instructions, when the March 20 election results came out, AIT Taipei Director Doug Paal would call on the President-elect first and other candidates later. Keegan also asked Wu and Ting to arrange the respective meetings. "When [KMT Chairman] Lien Chan announced late in the evening of March 20 that he would file an appeal to annul the presidential poll, Taiwan's political situation was in unprecedented chaos because of the uncertain election results. Paal, however, paid a secret visit to Lien's residence on Tunhua Road at SIPDIS 10:30 AM, March 21, and met with Lien and James Soong, who had just returned from [the demonstrations] outside the Presidential Office. Former National Security Council Secretary General Ding Mou-shih was also present at the meeting. During the meeting, both sides expressed their concern about Taiwan's political situation. Paal was also concerned that the chaotic situation on the island would not subside very soon. Paal did not meet with Chen until the next day. Since AIT said before the elections that Paal would call on the `President-elect' first, Paal's meeting with Lien and Soong was later interpreted by Chen as an illustration showing that `someone in the United States did not want to see me elected.'" PAAL