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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06TAIPEI3520
2006-10-13 09:40:00
CONFIDENTIAL
American Institute Taiwan, Taipei
Cable title:  

FOREIGN MINISTER JAMES HUANG ON REGIONAL ISSUES

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  MARR  MASS  TW  NU 
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VZCZCXRO8273
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHIN #3520/01 2860940
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 130940Z OCT 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2581
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5768
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8157
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 8112
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 0132
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0120
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1442
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 9617
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6983
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0438
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 5410
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 003520 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2031
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS TW NU
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER JAMES HUANG ON REGIONAL ISSUES
AND DOMESTIC POLITICS


Classified By: AIT Director Stephen M. Young, Reason 1.4 (b/d)



1. (C) Summary: The Director discussed recent developments
in East Asia, Central America, and Taiwan domestic politics
with Foreign Minister James Huang (Chih-fang) on October 12.
Huang reiterated Taipei's support for U.S. policy on North
Korea and said regional instability underscored the need for
Taipei to also improve its informal cooperation with Japan on
security matters. On Vietnam, Huang said Taipei has delinked
the APEC envoy issue with the question of Vietnam's WTO
accession. Huang reiterated ongoing concerns about Beijing's
influence in Central America, in particular Nicaragua and
Guatemala. Turning to Taiwan domestic politics, Huang noted
that the National Day protests tarnished Taiwan's
international image. Huang expressed optimism that some
elements of Taiwan's current defense budget could pass in the
legislature this year. End Summary.



2. (C) The Director, accompanied by DDIR and notetaker,
discussed recent developments in East Asia with Foreign
Minister James Huang (Chih-fang) on October 12. In response
to the Director's appreciation for Taiwan's public
condemnation of the North Korea nuclear test, Huang explained
that Taiwan was quick to issue the statement because Taipei
firmly supports maintaining regional stability. Huang later
added that North Korean instability underscores the need for
Taipei and Tokyo to cooperate informally on regional security
matters.



3. (C) The Director informed Huang that Vietnam will send
an envoy to Taipei with a second letter on the APEC agenda
next week. Huang reiterated Taipei's view that one special
envoy, instead of two, is a departure from past practice,
demurring that nevertheless Taipei will "see how it goes."
He said Taipei has already delinked the APEC envoy issue from
the issue of Vietnam's WTO accession.



4. (C) Huang thanked the U.S. for its continuing
cooperation with Taipei on Central American affairs, in
particular the series of meetings scheduled for Vice Minister
Javier Hou with administration officials and experts on
Central America. Huang characterized the region as an
"important" area where Taipei and Washington share common
interests. He further expressed Taipei's continuing concern
over the November elections in Nicaragua. Huang said he may
also travel to Guatemala after his meeting with regional
TECRO representatives in Seattle next week to discuss with
the Guatemalan Vice President and Foreign Minister the status
of their recent high-level exchanges with Beijing.



5. (C) Turning to Taiwan domestic politics, Huang noted that
protests organized by the "Depose Chen" campaign on National
Day tarnished Taiwan's international image. He regretted the
harassment of foreign delegations and said campaign leader
Shih Ming-te needs to be given a way to step down gracefully.
Huang predicted that the October 13 vote to recall President
Chen was doomed to fail. He surmised that opposition
Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou would probably have to move
on a no-confidence motion against the cabinet to convince
pan-Blue supporters he has the ability to lead. Such a move,
however, would pit KMT legislators in northern urban areas
who support the motion against legislators from central and
southern Taiwan who feel they have the most to lose if
President Chen decides to dissolve the Legislative Yuan (LY)
and hold a snap election instead of replacing the Premier.



6. (C) In response to the Director's query on the status of
the pending defense spending bill, Huang said an opposition
lawmaker had recently assured him the measure would pass, but
with some significant cuts. The P3C anti-submarine aircraft,
assessed Huang, are on the top of the priority list and have
the best chance of passing in the opposition-controlled LY.
The PAC-II upgrades are also possible, though the PAC-IIIs
and submarine purchases are "under the waterline." Huang
added that the recent North Korea test might force the
opposition to reconsider approving PAC-III purchases.

Comment


--------------------------





7. (C) Foreign Minister Huang, congenial and soft-spoken as
usual, continues to raise with AIT concerns over the upcoming
Nicaraguan elections and the state of relations between
Beijing and Taipei's key allies in Central America. His
planned trip to Guatemala is one of a series of recent visits
to the region and underscores that Taipei feels vulnerable to
Beijing's overtures toward long-standing Central American
allies.
YOUNG