Ma came off as reliable in video chat: US expert



LOS ANGELES — In his video conference with a Washington-based think tank, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou managed to convey a message of reliability as a security and trade partner, according to a U.S. scholar Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Clayton Dube, head of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, told a seminar in Los Angeles that Ma had effectively gotten his message across, noting that stability across the Taiwan Strait is an important issue for the U.S.

Dube, who did not take part in the video conference hosted Wednesday night Taiwan time by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that it is important for Taiwan and China to maintain peace as they explore other issues.

Wednesday’s event was put on by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles to solicit discussion about the video call in which Ma repeated Taiwan’s commitment to trade liberalization and joining trade blocs like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Also at the event, Bruce Linghu, director-general of TECO Los Angeles, said that Ma’s main focus in the conference was to stress the government’s efforts in free trade as a means of improving national competitiveness and the welfare of the Taiwanese people.

A similar seminar was held the same day at Stanford University in northern California.

Thomas Fingar, a fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, suggested that Ma continue to push for cross-strait rapprochement during his remaining two years in office.

Fingar agreed with Ma’s assertion that cross-strait ties are at the best they have been since Taiwan and China split more than 60 years ago.