US embassy cable - 89TAIPEI3647

TAIWAN REACTIONS TO THE TIANANMEN MASSACRE

Identifier: 89TAIPEI3647
Wikileaks: View 89TAIPEI3647 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: American Institute Taiwan, Taipei
Created: 1989-06-05 10:35:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL CH TW
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 051035Z JUN 89
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO AIT WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
AMCONSUL SHENYANG
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
CINCPAC HONOLULU HI
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 03647 
 
FOR AIT/W ALSO FOR EAP/RA/TC 
CINCPAC FOR FPA 
BEIJING ALSO PASS CHENGDU 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS: PREL, CH, TW 
SUBJECT: TAIWAN REACTIONS TO THE TIANANMEN MASSACRE 
 
REF: TAIPEI 3626 (NOTAL) 
 
 
1.  (C)  SUMMARY.  THE TAIWAN AUTHORITIES HAVE REACTED 
TO THE DRAMATIC JUNE 4 EVENTS IN BEIJING BY MAKING A 
SERIES OF DECLARATIONS.  PRESIDENT LEE ISSUED A 
DENUNCIATION OF THE BLOODY SUPPRESSION OF THE TIANANMEN 
DEMONSTRATORS AND A CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR 
THE PRC DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT.  A SIMILAR RESOLUTION WAS 
ADOPTED BY THE KMT CENTRAL COMMITTEE'S SECOND PLENUM, 
WHICH ABANDONED ITS AGENDA IN FAVOR OF AN ALL-DAY 
DISCUSSION OF MAINLAND POLICY.  FOREIGN MINISTER LIEN 
CHAN CALLED IN AMBASSADORS TO ASK FOR THEIR GOVERN- 
MENTS' SUPPORT, WHILE THE TAIWAN'S ARMED FORCES WERE 
PLACED ON ALERT AS A PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE.  MONEY IS 
BEING COLLECTED IN SUPPORT OF THE DEMONSTRATORS, AND 
TAIWAN'S RED CROSS IS ATTEMPTING TO FIND WAYS TO 
DELIVER ASSISTANCE.  MEANWHILE, PREMIER LEE HUAN AND 
OTHERS HAVE DECLARED THAT TAIWAN'S POLICY OF ALLOWING 
VISITS TO THE MAINLAND WILL NOT CHANGE.  IN THE MIDST 
OF CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS AGAINST THE PRC, 
SOME VOICES HAVE BEEN RAISED CAUTIONING AGAINST 
TAIWAN'S TRADE WITH THE MAINLAND, AND WE EXPECT THAT 
THE DETAILS, IF NOT THE OVERALL THRUST, OF TAIWAN'S 
MAINLAND POLICY WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF CONSIDERABLE 
DEBATE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE STUDENTS' SUPPRESSION. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (U)  PRESIDENT LI TENG-HUI, IN A STATEMENT TO THE 
KMT CENTRAL COMMITTEE PLENUM JUNE 4, CONDEMNED THE 
ATTACK BY THE PLA ON THE DEMONSTRATORS IN BEIJING.  LI 
SAID THAT THE VIOLENCE IN BEIJING EXPOSES THE CRUELTY 
OF THE COMMUNISTS AND WILL LEAD TO THE COLLAPSE OF THE 
PRC GOVERNMENT.  HE CALLED ON OTHER COUNTRIES TO 
CONDEMN THE COMMUNISTS AND ON OVERSEAS CHINESE TO 
SUPPORT THE DEMONSTRATORS AND OPPOSE THE COMMUNISTS. 
THE PRESIDENT ALSO WARNED OF POSSIBLE COMMUNIST 
MILITARY MOVES AGAINST TAIWAN AND TOLD THE PEOPLE AND 
THE ARMED FORCES TO BE ON THE ALERT.  HE PLEDGED 
CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR RESISTANCE ON THE MAINLAND AND 
STATED THAT THE GOAL OF TAIWAN IS TO "UNITE ALL ANTI- 
COMMUNIST AND PATRIOTIC FORCES IN THEIR UNTIRING 
EFFORT TO OVERTURN THIS TYRANNY." 
 
3.  (U)  THE PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT WAS ONE OF A 
NUMBER OF DECLARATIONS IN THE WAKE OF THE TIANANMEN 
CRACKDOWN.  THE KMT CENTRAL COMMITTEE PLENUM, MEETING 
YESTERDAY ON THE SECOND DAY OF ITS THREE-DAY SESSION, 
SCRAPPED ITS ORIGINAL SCHEDULE AND DEVOTED THE ENTIRE 
DAY TO A DISCUSSION OF MAINLAND POLICY.  A RESOLUTION 
ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE CONDEMNED 
THE MASSACRE OF THE STUDENT DEMONSTRATORS, DECLARED 
CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM ON THE 
MAINLAND, CALLED FOR LONG-TERM "MORAL AND MATERIAL 
SUPPORT" FROM ABROAD FOR THIS GOAL AND URGED STRONG 
INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION AND UNSPECIFIED SANCTIONS 
AGAINST THE PRC.  IT ALSO PLEDGED SUPPORT FOR CHINESE 
COMPATRIOTS STRUGGLING TO COMPEL BEIJING TO GIVE UP 
ITS "FOUR CARDINAL PRINCIPLES" AND "EVENTUALLY 
OVERTURN THE CHINESE COMMUNIST TYRANNY." 
 
4.  (C)  MEANWHILE, FOREIGN MINISTER LIEN CHAN MET WITH 
AMBASSADORS ACCREDITED IN TAIPEI FROM SOUTH AFRICA, 
SOUTH KOREA, HAITI, HONDURAS, AND GUATEMALA TO REQUEST 
THAT THEIR RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS CONDEMN THE ATTACK 
AND TO DEMAND THAT PRC AUTHORITIES PUNISH THOSE 
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VIOLENCE.  WHILE THIS MEETING WAS 
PUBLICIZED, THE PARALLEL APPROACH BY PRESIDENT LEE TO 
AIT (REFTEL) HAS NOT BEEN REPORTED IN THE PRESS. 
 
5.  (C)  IN A SEPARATE ACTION, PRESIDENT LEE ORDERED 
THAT TAIWAN'S ARMED FORCES BE PLACED ON ALERT TO 
GUARD AGAINST ANY ATTACK FROM THE MAINLAND.  ARMED 
FORCES CHIEF OF STAFF HAU PEI-TSUN CONFIRMED THE 
ORDER, TELLING THE PRESS THAT HE SAW NO IMMINENT 
THREAT TO TAIWAN'S SECURITY BUT WAS CONCERNED THAT 
THE PLA COULD TRY TO MAKE TROUBLE IN ORDER TO DIVERT 
ATTENTION THE PRC'S INTERNAL DISORDER.  DESPITE 
THE INCREASED ALERT STATUS, AT LEAST ONE HIGH-RANKING 
ADMIRAL WAS STILL ON THE GOLF COURSE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. 
 
6.  (U)  THE DRAMATIC CRACKDOWN IN BEIJING HAS 
IMMEDIATELY RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT TAIWAN'S POLICY 
TOWARD MAINLAND CONTACTS.  PREMIER LEE HUAN TOLD 
REPORTERS JUNE 4 THAT THE POLICY OF ALLOWING PRIVATE 
VISITS WOULD NOT ONLY CONTINUE, BUT SHOULD BE EXPANDED 
EVEN FURTHER.  VICE PREMIER SHIH CHI-YANG, IN 
CHARGE OF THE CABINET'S MAINLAND TASK FORCE, LIKEWISE 
STATED THAT CONTACTS WOULD CONTINUE, SINCE THEY SERVED 
THE LONG-TERM PURPOSE OF FOSTERING DEMOCRACY.  TASK 
FORCE SECRETARY MA YING-JEOU FOR HIS PART DECLARED 
THAT TIANANMEN DEVELOPMENTS WOULD NOT AFFECT ONGOING 
EFFORTS TO COMPLETE THE DRAFT REGULATIONS ON CROSS- 
STRAIT CONTACTS. 
 
7.  (U)  OTHER EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY TO INFLUENCE 
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PRC.  THE DLRECTOR-GENERAL OF 
TAIWAN'S INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT CENTER, 
JOHN NI, ANNOUNCED AT THE KMT PLENUM THE SETTING UP 
OF A FUND TO FINANCE OVERSEAS ADVERTISING DENOUNCING 
THE COMMUNISTS' ACTIONS AND SOLICITING SUPPORT FOR 
THE PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT.  THE GOAL IS REPORTED TO 
BE A FUND OF USD 100 MILLION OF WHICH US$ 280,000 IS 
SAID SO FAR TO HAVE BEEN RAISED.  THE LOCAL RED CROSS 
SOCIETY WILL OFFER MEDICAL PERSONNEL AND SUPPLIES TO 
THE PRC RED CROSS SOCIETY ACCORDING TO ITS SECRETARY- 
GENERAL.  THIS FOLLOWS A PRESIDENTIAL DECISION, 
REPORTED IN THE CENTRAL DAILY NEWS, THAT ASSISTANCE 
BE OFFERED VIA THE INTER INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS TO 
THE VICTIMS OF THE TIANANMEN VIOLENCE AND THEIR 
FAMILIES. 
 
8.  (U)  TAIWAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLYMEN, LEGISLATORS, AND 
CONTROL YUAN MEMBERS FROM KMT AND OPPOSITION PARTIES 
CONDEMNED THE ATTACK ON THE PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS. 
COMMENTS INCLUDE CALLS BY KMT ASSEMBLYMEN AND 
SUPPLEMENTAL LEGISLATORS FOR THE TAIWAN AUTHORITIES TO 
GIVE ALL POSSIBLE SUPPORT TO THE PROTESTORS AND TO MAKE 
A CRITICAL REAPPRAISAL OF TAIWAN'S POLLCY TOWARD THE 
MAINLAND AS WELL AS EXPRESSIONS OF ANGER AND SORROW ON 
THE PART OF OPPOSITION LEGISLATORS AT THE SUPPRESSION 
OF DEMOCRACY ON THE MAINLAND. 
 
9.  (U)  THERE HAVE ALSO BEEN CALLS FOR OTHER COUNTRIES, 
INCLUDING THE U.S., TO USE THEIR INFLUENCE TO PUT 
AN END TO THE BLOODSHED IN BEIJING.  AIT HAS HAD 
SEVERAL PRESS INQUIRIES ABOUT WHAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT 
WOULD DO.  IN ADDITION, NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY 
PROFESSOR THOMAS PENG, CLAIMING TO REPRESENT THE 
UNIVERSITY FACULTY ASSOCIATION, CALLED AIT TO ASK 
THAT THE U.S. SPEAK OUT STRONGLY AGAINST THE KILLING 
OF DEMONSTRATORS. 
 
10.  (U)  OTHER REPORTED RESPONSES TO THE ATTACK 
INCLUDE AN EXPRESSION OF SHOCK AND SORROW BY THE 
CHAIRMAN OF THE OPPOSITION DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE 
PARTY WHO ATTRIBUTED THE VIOLENCE TO THE LACK OF 
TOLERANCE FOR DEMOCRACY ON THE MAINLAND AND A REQUEST 
OF THE CHINA DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST PARTY THAT JUNE 4 
BE DECLARED A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR THOSE KILLED IN 
THE ATTACK AND THAT SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS BE AMENDED TO 
RECORD THE EVENT.  A LIST OF ACTIONS REPORTED TO BE 
UNDER CONSIDERATION BY THE AUTHORITIES INCLUDE: 
 
--  A TEMPORARY LIFTING OF THE BAN ON DIRECT FAX 
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MAINLAND TO PERMIT MESSAGES 
OF SUPPORT FOR THE DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT TO BE SENT TO 
THE PRC. 
 
--  A PERIOD OF MOURNING FOR THOSE KILLED AT TIANANMEN 
INCLUDING LOWERING THE TAIWAN FLAG TO HALF MAST. 
 
--  THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A "MORE AGGRESSIVE" 
MAINLAND POLICY IN WHICH TAIWAN AUTHORITIES WILL 
PLAY A "MORE LEADING ROLE" IN INFORMING PEOPLE ON 
THE MAINLAND OF TAIWAN'S ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL 
DEVELOPMENT. 
 
11.  (C)  COMMENT.  THE KMT'S EVIDENT DETERMINATION 
TO MAINTAIN ITS OPENING TO THE MAINLAND WAS SIGNALLED 
THE DAY BEFORE THE PLA'S ACTION IN TIANANMEN WHEN LEE 
TENG-HUI ADDRESSED THE OPENING SESSION OF THE KMT 
SECOND PLENUM.  IN HIS ADDRESS, LEE STATED THAT THE 
EASING OF RESTRICTIONS ON VISITS "HAS MADE THE PEOPLE 
ON THE CHINESE MAINLAND LONG FOR THE LIFE ON THE 
ISLAND" AND HAS INCREASED THEIR DOUBTS ABOUT 
COMMUNISM.  CALLS FOR DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM, LEE 
DECLARED, ARE "ONE INESCAPABLE RESULT OF THE 
IMPLEMENTATION OF OUR MAINLAND POLICY."  DESPITE THIS, 
THE BLOODSHED IN BEIJING MAY CAUSE THE AUTHORITIES 
TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THE QUESTION OF TRADE AND 
INVESTMENT IN THE PRC.  LEE HUAN DISTINGUISHED THIS 
FROM THE QUESTION OF CONTINUING VISITS, AND SAID IT 
WOULD HAVE TO BE STUDIED IN LIGHT OF EVENTS.  DEFENSE 
MINISTER CHENG WEI-YUAN IS QUOTED AS CALLING FOR TRADE 
SANCTIONS AGAINST THE PRC, ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT CLEAR 
WHETHER HIS REMARKS WERE INTENDED TO INCLUDE TAIWAN'S 
OWN TRADE WITH THE MAINLAND.  THE DETAILS OF TAIWAN'S 
MAINLAND POLICY ARE LIKELY TO BE THE SUBJECT OF INTENSE 
DISCUSSION IN THE DAYS AHEAD.  END COMMENT. 
 
 
DEAN 

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