Taiwan is a global leader in trade, investment, technology, advanced manufacturing and foreign currency reserves. It made the transition to democracy in the 1990s and has always been close to the United States and Japan. At the same time, it faces daunting challenges at home and abroad. In particular, it must cope with a China whose economic, military, and diplomatic power is steadily growing and that seeks unification with Taiwan.
The Brookings Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) co-hosted a discussion of Taiwan’s role in peace and stability in East Asia featuring Dr. Ma Ying-jeou, mayor of Taipei City and chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), the largest opposition party on the island.
Ma Ying-jeou was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. He received his first law degree from National Taiwan University in 1972 and went on to earn his LL.M. and S.J.D. from New York University School of Law and Harvard Law School. Dr. Ma served as Taiwan’s Minister of Justice and then Minister without Portfolio from 1993 to 1997. In 1998 he defeated incumbent Taipei mayoral candidate and current President Chen Shui-bian, and won a landslide re-election victory in 2002. In March 2003, Dr. Ma was elected vice chairman of the KMT, and became chairman in July 2005.
Richard Bush, senior fellow and director of CNAPS, and Kurt Campbell, senior vice president of CSIS, hosted the event and moderated the question and answer session following Dr. Ma’s presentation.