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07TAIPEI197 2007-01-25 08:48:00 CONFIDENTIAL American Institute Taiwan, Taipei
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1. (C) Summary: KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou has established a
small group of advisors, including legislator Su Chi and
several scholars, to discuss long-term KMT cross-Strait and
foreign policy. According to one member of the group, Ma
would pursue opening to the mainland if elected president in
2008 by acknowledging the "1992 Consensus" (meaning "one
China, separate interpretations" in the KMT view) and
implementing the three links. Ma's small group is also
discussing the need for Taiwan to devise an alternative to
"checkbook diplomacy," focusing on a three-part strategy:
outreach to China, support for institutions promoting the
spread of democracy, and a government personnel evaluation
system that rewards officials for building personal links
with foreign governments. In his own visits to the mainland,
the small group member told AIT that he has found
considerable interest in the KMT's transition from a
Leninist-style centralized party into a democratic party.
End Summary.

2. (C) KMT Director of Overseas Affairs Ho Szu-yin told AIT
that he is a participant in a group established by Chairman
Ma Ying-jeou that focuses on long-term party policies on
cross-Strait relations and foreign affairs. The small group,
which meets with Ma from time to time, consists of Ho,
legislator Su Chi, and several academics. Ho, who continues
to serve as a Professor of Political Science at National
Chengchi University, laughed that all the members of the
small group, not just the academics, are really scholars at
heart, even though he, Ma and Su are working in party

Chairman Ma's Small Group


3. (C) Ho explained that Ma's small group is separate from a
much larger group of KMT policy professionals organized
around KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan and the National
Policy Foundation (NPF), the KMT think tank which Lien heads.
Lien's group, which Ho noted includes KMT Mainland Affairs
Department Director Chang Jung-kung and others working within
the central party organization itself, focuses on
implementing KMT policies. (Note: It is the NPF, for
example, that has invited PRC Taiwan Affairs Office Director
Chen Yunlin several times to visit Taiwan, but with no
coordination with the Chen Shui-bian administration, thus
insuring official disapproval of the application. End Note).
Ho said the two groups do interact and have a clear division
of labor, with Ma's group focusing on ideas and long-term
thinking, and Lien's group putting ideas into practice via
conferences, exchange delegations, and other programs.

Cross-Strait Policy


4. (C) Ho told AIT that if Ma is elected president in 2008,
he would likely use the "1992 Consensus" as the framework for
his approach to the PRC. This would present Beijing with an
opportunity to improve cross-Strait relations, Ho argued,
giving PRC President Hu Jintao an opportunity to create a
much stronger legacy in handling the Taiwan issue than did
former President Jiang Zemin. One obvious area where Beijing
could make concessions, Ho noted, is withdrawing missiles
aimed at Taiwan. Ho also told AIT that Ma would pursue
opening toward China by implementing the "three links"
(direct trade, post, and communication), but emphasized that
the KMT does not support unification. (Comment: Ho seemed to
be referring to immediate unification. End Comment.)



5. (C) In his several PRC visits each year, Ho said he has
found many Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members very
interested in and consciously using the KMT as a model for
institutional change. During a recent trip to the Shanghai
Academy of Social Sciences, he noted, his interlocutors

TAIPEI 00000197 002 OF 002

showed great interest in the KMT's transition from a
neo-Leninist party mechanism to a democratic party structure.

Revamping Foreign Policy


6. (C) Turning to foreign policy issues, Ho told AIT that
Ma's small group believes Taiwan needs to think like a small
state, explaining that small states cannot exert influence on
great powers. Ho noted that Ma had requested Lien Chan to
inquire about Taiwan's international space during Lien's
meeting with Hu Jintao during Lien's April 2005 inaugural
visit to Mainland China. Hu responded ambiguously to Lien's
query, Ho said, using the standard PRC phrase "qiutong
cunyi," meaning "seeking common ground while reserving

7. (C) Ho outlined a three-part foreign policy strategy
devised by the group, which would alter Taiwan's whole
international outreach, since it will be increasingly
difficult for Taiwan to outbid Beijing's checkbook diplomacy.
The strategy includes (1) outreach to China, (2) funding
economic development and democratization projects (a much
more effective use of limited funds, Ho intoned), and (3)
implementation of a government personnel evaluation system
that keys advancement to establishing personal links with
foreign governments.

Biographical Note


8. (C) Ho Szu-yin (50) graduated from National Taiwan
University (NTU), then earned a doctorate in Political
Science at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He
concurrently serves as Director of the KMT Department of
Overseas Affairs and Professor of Political Science at
National Chengchi University (NCCU). Ho told AIT that he
begins each work day at NCCU, moves to his KMT headquarters
office in late morning, and returns to NCCU in the afternoon.
Ho is also Editor-in-Chief of the "Journal of Chinese
Mainland Studies" and previously served as Director of NCCU's
prestigious Institute of International Relations. Ho and his
wife have three children - two living in the U.S. and one in
high school in Taipei.