WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 26, 2010) – Oregon Congressman David Wu (D-1st) on Monday met with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, reportedly during a San Francisco stop while en route to Honduras to attend the inauguration of President-elect Porfirio Lobo Sosa.
During the nearly hour-long meeting, Congressman Wu stated that he and President Ma discussed Taiwan’s security and the importance of enhancing the U.S.-Taiwan relationship through high-level direct dialogue and cooperation on issues like clean energy and climate change.
“I was deeply honored to meet and speak with President Ma yesterday on a number of critical issues, and I hope to someday welcome him and Taiwan’s other high-level elected and appointed officials to our nation’s capital,” said Wu. “Taiwan is one of America’s strongest democratic allies and a key player in the Asia-Pacific region, but the United States continues to adhere to decades-old guidelines that prevent Taiwan’s duly elected president and highest-level decision makers from visiting Washington, D.C.
Chinese media reported on the talks as Ma Ying-jeou actively seeking American fighter jets and munitions, and that the United States is willing to sell them to the island nation.
Ma has a policy of “no unification, no independence, and no use of force.” He looks for Taiwan and the mainland to reconcile their differences in cross-Strait relations and in the international community so that both sides can pursue win-win strategies that will contribute to the peaceful development of the region.
“The greatest existential threat to Taiwan is isolation, and symbolically shunning Taiwan’s leaders is not only morally wrong, but also counterproductive to U.S. foreign policy,” said Wu. “I believe that unreasonable restrictions on visits to the United States by Taiwan’s civilian and military leaders should be lifted.
“Furthermore, I have long held that the best way to promote peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is to enhance Taiwan’s abilities to defend itself,” Wu added. “I told President Ma that I am committed to supporting Taiwan’s legitimate defense needs, consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, and that I will continue to work with the Obama administration to move forward on the transfer of Taiwan’s pending arms requests.
Wu said he looks forward to strengthening the American partnership with Taiwan in critical sectors to sustain long-term economic growth, create American jobs, and improve our global environment.
“America and Taiwan share common goals to reduce pollution and shrink our carbon footprint, while growing our respective economies,” said Wu. “President Ma and I exchanged ideas on how we can improve U.S.-Taiwan collaboration in clean energy and green construction – cutting-edge technologies in which my home state of Oregon has significant expertise.
The Hong Kong-born Ma, 59, was raised in Taiwan since the age of 1. His own father was originally from Hengshan County in Hunan Province on the mainland and fought in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
He is a graduate of National Taiwan University, and earned a Master of Law degree from New York University, before receiving a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School in 1981, specializing in law of the sea and international economic law. He held several government posts and was Mayor of Taipei Mayor and the KMT Chairman before becoming the president of Taiwan.
Ma was elected president of the Republic of China with 58.5 percent of the vote in May 2008. His campaign focused on restoration of political ethics in government, the economy and initiating talks with mainland China. He and spouse Chow Mei-ching have two daughters.