139597 2/1/2008 8:41 08AITTAIPEI161 American Institute Taiwan, Taipei UNCLASSIFIED VZCZCXYZ0002 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHIN #0161/01 0320841 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 010841Z FEB 08 FM AIT TAIPEI TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8054 INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7796 RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9060 UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 000161
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: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news coverage February 1 on KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's green card controversy, on the March presidential poll, and on some public health hazard cases in Taiwan. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an editorial in the pro-independence "Liberty Times" called the public's attention to China's military expansion, which, according to the article, will result in regional military imbalance and create a threat to cross-Strait security and world peace. An editorial in the pro-independence, English-language "Taiwan News" discussed Taiwan's UN referenda and criticized other democratic countries for putting themselves at Beijing's service to put pressure on the DPP administration over the UN referendum. End summary.
A) "Be Vigilant That China's Military Expansion Will Result in [Military] Imbalance in the Region"
The pro-independence "Liberty Times" [circulation: 720,000] editorialized (2/1):
"... China's military development over the past few years, be it in the aspect of military scale, budgets, adjustments in its strategy and tactics, and in particular, its military purpose, has attracted worldwide attention and generated considerable discussion. It is generally believed that ... China's threats have created a severe impact on world peace and order. ... The United States, as a result, has published reports seven times on China's military strength in which it expressed worry about the regional [military] imbalance caused by China's military expansion and Beijing's true intent behind such a move. Washington also pointed out that China's capabilities to develop advanced weapons systems have empowered Beijing the 'destructive military technology' and the 'greatest potential' to counterbalance U.S. military strength. Indeed, it is difficult for any outsider to judge China's real intent behind its military expansion. But the negative impact that has already been generated [by China's continuous military buildup] can highlight the fact that China's intent is by no means self-defense, rather [it is] secret schemes against Taiwan and attempts to intervene in
SIPDIS international affairs.
"In other words, even if China asserted that its rise is peaceful and it will not seek hegemony, various signs show that China is making full preparation for turning itself into a hegemonic power. China has deployed more than one thousand missiles targeting Taiwan and conducted exercises using guided missiles in the Taiwan Strait, triggering severe threats in the Taiwan Strait, the so-called 'lifeline' of East Asia. In addition, in order to secure its energy resources, China also supports some notorious totalitarian countries that suppress human rights, [support] international terrorism and violate non-proliferation practice. In short, China follows a policy of expansionism by military means, whereas Taiwan is, without a doubt, its number one prey. But China's evil ambitions will by no means be satiated solely by invading Taiwan. If China fails to renounce its belief in socialism, its obsession with Great China nationalism, and its autocracy, the constant expansion of Beijing's -- TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6987 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE 0182 RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC RUESEN/SKOPJE BETA RUEHSQ/USDAO SKOPJE MK RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2180 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SKOPJE 000087
STATE FOR EUR A/S FRIED
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/01/2018 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NATO, MK, GR SUBJECT: MACEDONIA: PRESSING FOR NAME DISPUTE RESOLUTION
REF: SKOPJE 64 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: AMBASSADOR MILOVANOVIC, REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).
1. (C) During a February 1 tete-a-tete meeting with Deputy PM Stavreski, one of PM Gruevski's closest advisers, I pressed for resolution of the name dispute with Greece before the NATO summit in April, underscored the need for Skopje to offer UN Special Negotiator Nimetz some proposals before then to resolve the issue, and suggested a framework that would preserve the constitutional name for bilateral use while offering a differentiated name for use in international fora and with Greece. Stavreski said Gruevski was aware of the costs and benefits of reaching a compromise on the name, and underscored that only the Prime Minister could decide whether he was willing to risk his political career on such a move. He did not disagree that a compromise could be sold to the public as ridding the country of its despised FYROM acronym for use in international institutions, and as paving the way to membership in Euro-Atlantic institutions, and said he would convey my points to Gruevski. I will meet next week with President Crvenkovski and PM Gruevski to go over the same ground; I don't expect any sea-changes in attitudes here, but will aim for a course correction that gets the leadership here thinking about how to ensure a seat at the table with its A-3 partners in Bucharest. End summary.
MOVE TO RESOLUTION BEFORE BUCHAREST SUMMIT
2. (C) I met with Deputy PM Zoran Stavreski, one of PM Gruevski's closest advisers, on February 1 to press for faster movement toward resolution of the name dispute with Greece. Reiterating the USG position -- firm recognition of Macedonia's constitutional name, and insistence that both sides adhere to the 1995 Interim Accord -- I said we wanted Macedonia in NATO but warned that the threat of a Greek veto was real and a serious obstacle. If Greece exercised its veto and the GOM then decided unilaterally to pursue recognition of Macedonia's constitutional name in the UNGA and UNSC, I warned that the chances of success with any such "Plan B" would be minimal. EU members would be unlikely to vote against fellow EU member Greece on the matter.
3. (C) I strongly urged that the GOM give UN Special Negotiator Nimetz one or more proposals for a differentiated name, and conditions for its use, which would demonstrate Macedonia's willingness to be a serious and constructive partner in the name talks scheduled to continue with Nimetz's mediation in February.
FRAMEWORK FOR RESOLUTION
4. (C) Noting that we had not suggested any specific names for Nimetz to use in a proposal, I said we had in mind parameters that notionally would involve no change to the constitutional name; an agreed name -- hyphenated in some way -- for use in international organizations and with nations such as Greece; and continued use of the constitutional name for bilateral relations with nations that recognized the constitutional name. I stressed that we could not guarantee Greece would approve these parameters, as they involve changes to the Greek as well as the Macedonian position, but they seemed reasonable to us. If a Nimetz proposal along such lines were made, I anticipated we would be inclined to press equally on Macedonia and Greece to accept, or at a bare minimum to accept it as the agreed basis for negotiations.
5. (C) I told Stavreski that the issue should be resolved before the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April in order to maximize chances of avoiding a Greek veto. As a fallback, it might be possible to have an agreed basis for talks to resolve the issue before the summit, and commitment to rapid conclusion of the matter after Bucharest to pave the way for ratification of Macedonia's membership. But our vision was resolution before April.
PRIME MINISTER'S POLITICAL CALCULUS
SKOPJE 00000087 002 OF 002
6. (C) Stavreski stressed that the name issue concerned not just the government and political parties, but also the public, which had consistently expressed in polls overwhelming opposition to changing Macedonia's constitutional name on Greece's terms in order to receive a NATO invitation. PM Gruevski was well-equipped to assess the political, economic, and other equities involved in resolving the name issue, he said. Stavreski underscored that Gruevski ultimately would decide whether he could risk his political career to reach a compromise solution. He promised to convey my points to the Prime Minister.
7. (C) Stavreski did not disagree with my point that Gruevski could spin the message a compromise would send, from one of betrayal of country by trading the name for NATO, to one of promoting Macedonia's future benefits (ridding the country of the hated FYROM acronym, securing NATO membership, and keeping the country on a smoother path to EU membership). He agreed that if the Prime Minister pursued such a compromise, all political parties and President Crvenkovski would have to be on board and there could not be any partisan sniping about betrayal of the country's identity. I stressed the need to persuade both Gruevski and Crvenkovski that there was a real difference between the constitutional name and a differentiated name for international use.
THE MORE REASONABLE PARTY GETS PUMMELED
8. (C) Stavreski said Gruevski, and not he alone, was likely to see recent international pressure on Macedonia to be more flexible than Greece as typical of what had always happened in Macedonia's recent history: the more reasonable party would be pressed the hardest because the other partner was "irrational and refused to bend to pressure." I reiterated that it was essential that Skopje move quickly to put a proposal for resolving the dispute on the table. Time was short, the Greek veto threat was real, and the onus was on the GOM, irrespective of how things had reached this point, to show constructive engagement before the NATO summit. Everyone wanted a peaceful, positive summit at Bucharest. That meant resolving the name issue well in advance, or at least having an agreed basis for continued discussion afterwards, with the prospect of rapid resolution during the period between an invitation and ratification.
9. (C) I approached Stavreski first as a way to prepare the Prime Minister for our meeting next week. Gruevski usually spends more time rebutting than listening and I hope to soften him up a bit. An unusually cordial Stavreski dutifully noted my points without making specific rebuttals himself. He offered no suggestions about how to persuade the Prime Minister on the issue, but I hope that, as a very close advisor to the PM he will begin the process of making Gruevski more ready to listen to our ideas next week. Though he is not a "silver bullet," his discussion of our points with the Prime Minister may get Gruevski to start grappling with how to go beyond the GOM's current "dual name" position in pursuit of a compromise approach that could persuade Athens to allow an invitation to go ahead at Bucharest. I will see both Gruevski and President Crvenkovski next week to go over the same ground. I am not optimistic about any sudden sea-changes in attitudes here, but a minimal course correction might emerge through our repeated messages on the need to offer a solution that preserves the constitutional name while replacing the ungainly term "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" with a more dignified differentiated name. MILOVANOVIC