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09BANGKOK706 AIT CHAIRMAN BURGHARDT AND FM OU DISCUSS BILATERAL RELATIONS, TRANSITS, WHO, AND MRLS

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P 200414Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6457
INFO ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 
DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
JIATF WEST

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 000320 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2019 
TAGS: ASEC PHUM PTER SNAR PREL PARM PGOV KCRM KJUS
SUBJECT: AIT CHAIRMAN BURGHARDT AND FM OU DISCUSS BILATERAL 
RELATIONS, TRANSITS, WHO, AND MRLS 

REF: TAIPEI 301 

Classified By: AIT Deputy Director Robert Wang, 
Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D). 

 1. (SBU) Summary: Extradition, an FTA and visa waiver are 
Taiwan's top bilateral priorities, FM Ou told AIT Chairman 
Burghardt during their March 18 meeting.  Although the 
leadership in Beijing has tacitly accepted Taiwan's 
diplomatic truce and mutual non-denial, this is not the case 
at lower levels, Ou said, underlining specifically the need 
for technical, working-level talks on WHA observership. 
Although it appears Beijing is discouraging Taiwan's 
diplomatic partners' inquiries about switching diplomatic 
recognition, MOFA is recommending Taiwan President Ma attend 
both the June 1 presidential inauguration in San Salvador and 
the July 1 inauguration in Panama City.  On trade, Chairman 
Burghardt and the Deputy Director made clear that Taiwan 
needs to address U.S. concerns on beef, apples and Minimum 
Residue Levels (MRLs). End Summary. 

Strong U.S.-Taiwan Relations Important to Cross-Strait Efforts 
--------------------------------------------- ----------------- 

2. (C) The U.S.-Taiwan relationship needs to be strong, so 
that Taiwan can negotiate with the PRC from a position of 
confidence, FM Ou told the Chairman during their March 18 
meeting.  Ou added that, of Taiwan's three current goals for 
the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, an extradition agreement would 
take priority, followed by visa waiver, and a free trade 
agreement.  Extradition is more urgent, Ou said, because 
recent cases have drawn attention to the need for a means of 
returning criminal suspects wanted in Taiwan and spurred 
public calls for an improved mechanism for law enforcement 
cooperation.  (Note: Ou is probably referring to press 
surrounding the recent return of an Amcit accused of 
molesting children in California.  One editorial called for 
the exchange of this Amcit for Wang You-theng, currently in 
the United States and wanted in Taiwan for white-collar 
financial crimes. End note.)  While noting some present 
difficulties regarding an FTA and visa waiver, Burghardt 
noted these three issues were important and that movement on 
all three would be judged on their individual merits. 

3. (C) Burghardt commented that technical issues with 
passport security - particularly the lack of a requirement 
for personal appearance when applying for a Taiwan travel 
document - would need to be addressed before visa waiver 
could be discussed.  The Foreign Minister advised Burghardt 
that new measures would require an identity card for children 
eight to fourteen years of age.  North American Affairs 
Director General Harry Tseng added that these new measures 
would go into effect within the next six months and that 
information from the identity card, including photos, will be 
linked to the MOFA passport database.  The Chairman noted 
that, in addition to passport security, legislation 
permitting the waiver of the three percent visa refusal rate 
requirement for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) would expire 
June 30.  Taiwan's current visa refusal rate did not meet 
this three percent refusal rate requirement.  There is good 
will to make this happen, Burghardt commented, but the U.S. 
is wrestling with various issues and hopes that Taiwan will 
help address some of these obstacles as well. 

4. (C) Burghardt ruled out discussions of an FTA in the short 
term, noting that the Executive Branch does not even have 
fast track negotiating authority.  Instead, he urged working 
toward progess on the building blocks of an agreement under 
the TIFA.  First, though, we need to make progress on issues 
such as beef, MRLs, and apples.  The DDIR emphasized that 
many bilateral economic issues, such as pharmaceuticals, 
could be discussed under a TIFA but beef, apples, and MRLs 
would need to be resolved first. 

Presidential Transits 
--------------------- 

TAIPEI 00000320  002 OF 003 

5. (C) MOFA has recommended that President Ma attend both the 
June 1 presidential inauguration in San Salvador and the July 
1 presidential inauguration in Panama City, Ou said.  Taiwan 
has only a small number of diplomatic allies and both El 
Salvador and Panama are key among them, explained Ou. (Note: 
In a separate meeting with the Chairman, President Ma and his 
National Security Advisor confirmed that the President is 
considering the trips, but said Beijing has so far rebuffed 
Panama's attempts to discuss recognizing the PRC and appears 
to be doing the same with El Salvador's new president-elect. 
See reftel. End note.)  Burghardt reassured Ou that the U.S. 
is ready to discuss transit arrangements once a decision has 
been made. 

Diplomatic Truce Still Holds 
---------------------------- 

6. (C) Despite some concerns new Salvadoran president-elect 
Mauricio Funes could attempt to switch diplomatic recognition 
to Beijing, Ou believed Funes would be cautious in taking any 
decisions affecting the bilateral relationship, especially 
given existing economic cooperation.  Interactions between 
Taiwan and PRC counterparts abroad were inconsistent.  In 
some places, PRC diplomats were very friendly to their Taiwan 
counterparts - going as far as to invite them to lunch.  In 
other places, PRC officials continued to protest Taiwan's 
diplomatic efforts and participation in various 
organizations.  It is clear, said Ou, that Beijing's Foreign 
Ministry has not issued clear instructions relating to a 
"diplomatic truce" to its missions abroad, leaving each 
mission to interpret for itself Beijing's public statements 
on the issue. 

7. (C) Regardless, looking at Beijing's actions - i.e. its 
refusal to accept Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, and 
Panama's requests to switch diplomatic ties, it is clear that 
the PRC does not want anything to negatively affect warming 
cross-Strait relations.  In fact, Ou continued, he himself 
had issued no instructions on the subject.  "(W)e are still 
observing," Ou explained, "(but) personally, I hope our 
diplomats would interpret the ceasefire in a broader way." 

WHO Observership - Need Technical Level Talks 
--------------------------------------------- 

8. (C) Participation in international organizations, however, 
will be more complicated than the issue of diplomatic allies 
and should be addressed on a case-by-case basis, Ou added. 
Although Taiwan has seen signs of the PRC's good will, the 
two sides still need to establish a technical channel to 
discuss the details, he said.  This matter is being handled 
directly by the NSC. 

Regional Relations Improving 
---------------------------- 

9. (C) Burghardt expressed his appreciation for Ma's pledge 
of no surprises in the U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relationship as 
well as his emphasis on substance over show.  He recounted 
three examples Ma had given him to demonstrate this 
commitment:  Taiwan would not ask for a certain kind of 
transit just to show that the U.S. would grant it; Taiwan 
would not ask for certain weapons systems just to show the 
U.S. would sell them; and Taiwan would not insist on certain 
names just for domestic political considerations.  Ou assured 
Burghardt that the Ma administration is different from the 
Chen administration.  The Ma government is working hard to 
rebuild trust with many countries.  Even now, Taiwan's 
relations with Japan, the EU, and Singapore are improving, he 
said, noting that there is still more to be done with Korea. 

Publication of New MRL List Serves as Notification 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 

10. (C) Before Ou arrived, DG Tseng told Burghardt and the 

TAIPEI 00000320  003 OF 003 

Deputy Director that the Ministry of Health (MOH) had 
published a new list showing which MRLs had been increased. 
It was MOH's view that publication of this new list met the 
notification requirement under the U.S.-Taiwan Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU) on MRLs.  DDIR replied that the MOU 
requires coordination and consultation prior to public 
dissemination of any new list, something that clearly had not 
been done.  Tseng said he would convey this view to MOH. 

Participants 
------------ 

11. (U) Participants in the meeting were Foreign Minister Ou, 
North American Affairs Division (NAAD) Director-General Harry 
Tseng, NAAD First Section Chief Douglas Hsu, NAAD Officer 
Stacey Lin, AIT Chairman Burghardt, AIT Deputy Director Wang, 
EAP/TC Director Ted Mann, and AIT Poloff Deanna Kim. 

12. (U)  Chairman Burghardt did not have an opportunity to 
clear this message. 
YOUNG

 

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Written by thaicables

April 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

Posted in Taiwan

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