President Ma Ying-jeou on the afternoon of February 10 at the Presidential Office met with American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) President Arthur C. Brooks and former President Christopher DeMuth. The president, on behalf of the government of the ROC (Taiwan), extended a cordial welcome to the two guests.
President Ma commented that the AEI is a renowned think tank based in Washington D.C. that has an illustrious history. He noted that the AEI has deep ties with the ROC and has long supported the various policy stances of the ROC government. President Ma said that it was thanks to the assistance provided by former AEI President DeMuth that he was able to deliver a speech at an event jointly held by the AEI and another renowned think tank The Heritage Foundation three years ago on a visit he made to Washington. The president expressed that he expects many more opportunities for cooperation between the ROC and the AEI in the future. In particular, with the inauguration of US President Barack Obama, President Ma hopes to see more cooperation with the AEI and AEI President Brooks based on the existing foundation of friendship between the ROC and the AEI. This, he said, will help to foster further development of relations between Taiwan and the United States.
President Ma added that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the announcement and implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which was an extremely important event for both Taiwan and the United States. The TRA was signed by US President Jimmy Carter on April 3, 1979, and it took effect a week later on April 10. The TRA includes a number of important articles that sought to reduce to a minimum the negative impact associated with the withdrawal of traditional diplomatic recognition under international law. The TRA, President Ma said, also set an important precedent in international law. The president mentioned that he was studying in the United States at the time that the TRA was implemented. He said that he pointed out in his thesis the historical importance of the TRA from a legal perspective.
President Ma furthermore said that relations between Taiwan and the United States over the past 30 years, a period of time that has seen eight US presidents, have progressed smoothly thanks to the TRA. The TRA has provided a foundation for the US government to maintain a consistent policy, thereby helping to ensure stable relations with Taiwan, Mainland China and Japan. This highlights the critical role of the TRA in America’s China policy, the president said. President Ma said he hopes that the AEI will hold events at appropriate times to discuss related issues and the future direction of development with regards to the TRA.
AEI President Brooks expressed his appreciation to President Ma for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with him and his predecessor. He added that the AEI is delighted to maintain relations with Taiwan given the values of democracy, peace and freedom that are shared by the two. He said he looks forward to continuing the friendship in the future and engaging in further cooperation. AEI President Brooks said that his organization plans to hold a number of events and publish a series of research reports to mark the 30th anniversary of the TRA. He said he hopes this will help to shed further light on Taiwan-US relations and will enable friendship between the two sides to become ever stronger.