When Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on May 20, 2008, he and his new administration faced twin challenges. One was to stabilize relations with China after more than a decade of tensions. The other was repairing strained relations with the United States. To these a third was quickly added: coping with the effects of a historic global economic recession.
On May 18 at Brookings, Brookings’s Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) and John L. Thornton China Center, and the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies hosted a day-long public seminar examining the policies of the Ma administration at the half-way point of its current term, with specific focus on its management of Taiwan’s economy, cross-strait relations, and relations with the United States.
Following opening remarks, officials of the U.S. and Taiwan governments made brief keynote statements. In subsequent panels senior experts, former government officials, and influential opinion leaders from across the political spectrum analyzed President Ma’s policies regarding Taiwan’s economy, cross-Strait relations, and the United States. Dr. Paul C.H. Chiu, chairman of Bank SinoPac, and vice premier of Taiwan from May 2008 until September 2009 and minister of finance during 1996-2000, gave a lunch address on the Ma administration’s economic policies.